Kubota’s New Gas Engines

Kubota Engine America Corp., Lincolnshire, Ill. has announced the release of a family of three spark ignited engines specifically targeted for use in the oil & gas and compression markets.

The new family of Kubota natural gas engines, the models WG1605, WG2503 (pictured) and WG3800, share many of the same components found in the company’s diesel counterparts and are now approved and warranted for wellhead gas operations, such as pump jacks, compressors, and vapor recovery units.  The new gas engine line, Kubota’s first LSI range, were designed specifically for the harsh environments found in oil and gas fields.  The engines are U.S. EPA/CARB Phase 3 certified.

The model WG2503 is available for order, while the WG3800 and WG1605 models will be available in 2019, with sales handled through KEA’s distribution network.

The new WG engines all are four-cylinder, vertical inline, water-cooled configurations.  All are naturally-aspirated, with displacements of 1.53 L for the model WG1605, 2.49 L for the WG2503, and 3.76 L for the WG3800.  Net continuous outputs on natural gas/commercial LPG for the WG1605 are:  37.3 hp/39.8 hp at 3600 rpm; 43.3 hp/47.3 hp at 2700 rpm for the WG2503; while the WG3800 has outputs of 65.8 hp/70.8 hp at 2600 rpm.

The KEA engines are expected to compete primarily with automotive-based engines in these sorts of applications.  Kubota counters that these newly introduced engines are based on diesel designs and should provide a longer life cycle.

The engines also have what KEA says are a number of premium features to enhance their use in these applications.  Features include dual fuel capability with the ability to run on natural gas or propane.  Further, the helical front gear train provides heavy-duty value timing control and zero maintenance.  The exhaust valves are made of high temperature alloys fitted into a cast iron cylinder head.  These wear and corrosion resistant parts are especially important in wellhead duty, KEA said.

Other features include an engine block and components that are based on the diesel model counterpart and footprint.  The ignition systems coil-on-plug design eliminates spark plug wires and the system features water-resistant ignition system connectors for easier startup.    Spark plug replacement intervals are 2000 hours, KEA said,

The engines also includes knock sensors that detect detonation through mechanical vibration in the engine block, cylinder or head.  The sensor sends instant feedback to the ignition system in order to retard spark, reduce knock intensity and thus protect the engine.

Also, the electronic control unit (ECU) can be programmed on site.  “The benefit of the programmable ECU is it allows the operator to relocate the engine to another jobsite,” said Philip Juneau, Kubota regional sales manager. “The purpose of the knock sensor is to protect the engine from damage that can be caused from detonation. The coil-on-plugs eliminates the need for spark plug wires, which generally require more frequent service replacement.”

Kubota’s warranty covers the WG1605, WG2503 and WG3800 for two years or 2,000 hours on all wellhead applications. Kubota is also the manufacturer of record for these engines.