Never Stop Improving: The Difference in the G3600 ADEM™ A3 vs new G3600 ADEM A4

In 2015, Caterpillar released the G3600 with ADEM™ A4 technology, and for some members of the gas compression industry, it may have seemed a case of fixing what wasn’t broken. The G3600 A3, after all, is one of the most proven engines Caterpillar has ever produced. There are more than 4,500 G3600 A3 engines in operation, with more than 150 million hours of operation. It is, in short, a piece of iron that gas compression operations rely on.

So, again, why put the G3600 under the microscope? Because with numerous advancements in engineering, it can be optimized like never before. And with the ADEM A4 Engine Control Module (ECM) providing smarter control and precise monitoring, gas compression operations can achieve greater power outputs and better performance.

The G3600 A4 has been designed with key engineering developments over the past 12 years, and the result is an improved version of an already formidable engine.

New controls, new iron

Although the updates to the ADEM control system are significant, it would be wrong to assume that ADEM updates are all that’s new with the G3600. Yes, the updates to the ADEM control system do allow for additional automation, especially in regards to ambient-based rating. The new ADEM is also built with additional processing power and additional I/O, enhancing control capabilities and interfacing options.

But there are significant updates to the G3600’s iron as well, and these updates optimize an already powerful, reliable engine. Here’s what the new G3600 brings, in brief:

  • Better fuel tolerance across the board – The G3600 is now built with a piston that enables a lower compression ratio. Along with the addition of a two stage aftercooler, the G3600 can utilize fuels at a lower heating value between 750 and 2300 Btu. It can also maintain full load with fuels down to 32MN, tolerate up to 20 percent inerts, and accept up to 1,000ppm H2S.
  • Improved emissions controls – With the G3600, Caterpillar is dedicated to meeting rigorous emissions standards. An engine-mounted NOx sensor, an improved air/fuel ratio algorithm and better controls allow for more precise interaction between the engine’s closed loop feedback mechanisms and its ECM. Put it together and it means 40 percent lower NOx, 20 percent lower carbon monoxide and 60 percent lower VOC emissions.
  • Smarter package integration – The G3600 now comes with a host of design improvements, large and small, and together they make for easier packaging. Standard ports have been added, including JW heater, compressor oil cooler, coolant and oil sampling ports. Engine-mounted thermostats have also been added, along with ANSI flange connections for both cooling and fuel.

In the power business, 12 years is a long time, and in the 12 years since the G3600 A3 was released, there’s been major developments in the industry. The G3600 A4 has been designed with these developments in mind, and the result is an improved version of an already formidable engine.

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