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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lowering Operational Impact of Outdoor Power Equipment Use: Part 1

Latest technologies can reduce emissions and noise while improving efficiency.

Nowhere does green, or more correctly sustainability, have greater importance and relevance than in those individuals actually responsible for creating, maintaining and promoting green spaces in our society, America’s Green Industry.

For several years now the Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) industry has been developing and delivering engine technologies that are kinder to the environment and meet or exceed the ever more stringent regulations mandated by federal agencies or local governments. According to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute between 1996 and today under EPA Phase 3 regulations, the industry has reduced emissions from lawn and garden equipment by 95%.

A variety of technologies are available that deliver improved engine power and performance, increased fuel efficiency and lower exhaust emissions and noise.

Engine Technologies and emissions.

Two-Cycle–In many applications the two-cycle engine delivers the needed power and torque in a lighter weight package. In order to meet EPA guidelines on emissions, manufacturers have added catalytic converters, and most recently developed improved emission technologies like stratified scavenged engines, which significantly reduce exhaust emissions.

Hybrids–The 4-cycle engine design is generally cleaner than the 2-cycle, however the need for an oil sump is a drawback especially when operating handheld outdoor power equipment. Hybrid technologies like the STIHL 4-MIX® deliver 4-cycle operation while using 2-cycle fuel mix as both lubricant and fuel, essentially delivering the best of both worlds. This particular technology can deliver significantly lower exhaust emissions. For instance the STIHL Magnum™ BR 600 backpack blower delivers almost three times less exhaust emissions than required by the EPA for the over 50 cc engine class.

One of the additional benefits of choosing low-emission technology is increased fuel efficiency due to the reduction of unburned hydrocarbons (i.e. fuel). By selecting low-emission equipment users can reduce their fuel costs for those units by up to 28% as compared to older, less efficient models.

Next:  Alternative Fuels / Electric / Noise.