Why the G3600 ADEM A4 is an Industry Game Changer

In 1984, Caterpillar introduced the 3600 engine family. The diesel engine quickly earned a reputation in the field as a robust performer, a reliable provider of optimized power and low maintenance in high horsepower applications. Recognizing the platform’s potential for gas compression applications, Caterpillar unveiled the first G3600 engine in 1991. The first G3606 featured a horsepower range of 1500‐1666 bhp and NOx level of 0.7 g/hp‐hr. Over the course of the next three years, Caterpillar expanded the model to a series of a four offerings including the G3606, G3608, G3612 and G3616, to account for the industry’s quick acceptance of the platform.

In the past 15 years, Caterpillar has continued to innovate the platform, ever focused on customers’ end needs. The G3600 series has become synonymous with reliable performance, logging over 150 million hours in the field as a preferred solution for gas compression. In 2015, Caterpillar engineered the platform beyond expectations by drastically increasing all critical performance factors and unveiling the G3600 ADEM A4 engine across all four configurations. The new platform is a game-changer for the industry, incorporating the most substantial updates made to the gas compression platform in its noted history. Here’s why:

  • More power: at its core, Caterpillar is in the horsepower business. With every iteration of an engine, the company strives to get more power density out of every platform. The G3600 ADEM A4 is no exception to that commitment. All four configurations offer more than a 5% power increase and deliver full power up to 6000 feet site altitude and for some platforms, 8000 feet. Even more impactful is the engine’s ability to operate over a wider range of fuel quality. In fact, all four engines can run at full power up to 1550 Btu/scf, effectively reducing costs as it eliminates the need for fuel gas treatment.
  • Fuel flexibility: the gas compression industry has always struggled with the challenges that accompany fuel quality variances and those challenges are not diminishing. With new shale gas opportunities, recovery methods and technologies, fuel gas quality will continue to impact the industry. When designing the G3600 ADEM A4, Caterpillar accounted for the varying quality of fuel gas customers would like to run on. The platform is designed for global flexibility and can operate on the broadest spectrum of fuel gas available. This capability is accomplished through a lower effective compression ratio and two stage aftercooling, achieving a greater knock margin.
  • Emissions: Perhaps the most significant benefit of the new G3600 A4 is the 40% less NOx emissions produced on all four configurations. For customers, the key benefit is simple: it translates to more horsepower per location.The substantial reduction was achieved by utilizing an aggressive Miller Cycle and an enhanced combustion solution, which includes improved piston crown geometry. The emissions reduction is backed by Caterpillar’s commitment to developing platforms using a ‘not to exceed’ technology. Operators can be confident that they can reliably run Cat power throughout the operating range and maintain compliance in the growing number of non-attainment areas.


CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow,” the “Power Edge” trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.”

©2016 Caterpillar All Rights Reserved


Check out our A4 Infographic to get a better idea of how G3600 engines and ADEM 4 technology are a game changer in the gas compression industry and how they can work for you.

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