on particle measuring
1. Is there a legal basis for introducing particle concentration measuring?
Germany: Yes. In Germany, the latest emissions testing guideline (AU-Richtlinie) from 2017 provides for mandatory introduction of particle concentration measuring. The deadline for introducing particle concentration measuring will most likely be delayed until 2022/2023.
The Netherlands: In the Netherlands, the legal conditions for introducing particle measuring technology are already in place. The deadline for introduction has been set as 01/07/2022. The AVL DiTEST Counter was successfully approved by the measuring institute of the Netherlands, NMi, in October 2021.
Belgium: In Belgium, the political situation has also changed with the formation of the new government. At present, it is difficult to foresee if and when particle concentration measuring may be introduced. AVL DiTEST is closely monitoring the market and will make a device available.
EU: EU Directive 2014/45 is unlikely to be revised before 2023. Other European countries are already addressing the subject.
2. Is particle counting used for all emission classes?
At present, particle concentration measuring is only to be used for modern diesel vehicles.
Germany: from Euro 6 up
The Netherlands: Euro 5 and Euro 6
Belgium: Euro 5 and Euro 6
For these vehicles, opacity testing is being replaced. For all other (older) vehicles, this will continue to be used.
3. Are PTI-compatible devices already available?
Yes. The AVL DiTEST Counter is a PTI-compatible device for measuring particle concentrations in exhaust emissions. We have been working in this area since 2016 and have therefore been able to amass comprehensive specialist knowledge.
4. What technologies are available?
The two established technologies are the DC (Diffusion Charging) principle and the CPC (Condensation Particulate Counting) principle.
5. What position does AVL DiTEST take with regard to the technologies?
The AVL group has been working on technologies for particle measuring for over 15 years, and can therefore draw on a broad knowledge base.
AVL DiTEST has already analysed both measurement methods (DC and CPC) at an early stage and has developed expertise on both methods in this context. After carefully analysing both methods, AVL DiTEST considers the DC principle to be the appropriate method for use in test centres and workshops. AVL DiTEST develops all core components of the device independently, which sets it apart from the rest of the supply chain.
6. Is there already a final legal specification for these measuring devices (accuracy, repeatability, etc.)?
Germany: No, there are no final specifications at the moment. The PTB (Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt, the German national test authority) in Braunschweig is responsible for this, and has been working on it for some time.
The Netherlands: Yes. In the Netherlands all legal conditions (technical specifications, legislation, approval, measuring procedure) for introducing particle concentration measurement are in place. The deadline for introduction has been set as 01/07/2022. The AVL DiTEST Counter was successfully approved by the measuring institute of the Netherlands, NMi, in October 2021.
Belgium: No. In Belgium, there is a proposal for the equipment specifications and the measuring procedure; the legal conditions, however, are still under discussion.
7. What is the testing procedure and what are the limits?
Germany: The testing procedure was verified by the BASt (Bundesaufsicht für Straßenwesen – Federal Highway Research Institute) in a 2019 study. After briefly increasing speed, to ensure that the exhaust gas recirculation valve opens as defined, the average value is calculated in neutral from three 30-second measurement phases. If the value is less than 250,000 particles/cm3, the vehicle has passed. If the value measured in the first measurement phase is below 50,000 particles/cm3, the measurement is ended after the first phase (fast pass).
The Netherlands: In the Netherlands, the testing procedure was developed by TNO. The vehicle does not need to be conditioned for the test. The test essentially consists of five steps:
- entry of registration
- entry/selection of limit value
- 15 seconds of stabilising in neutral
- 15 seconds measuring and generating the average value
- assessing the measured value
Belgium: In Belgium, the testing procedure was defined by the GOCA. From today’s perspective, it is comparable to the Dutch procedure. In Belgium, however, it should be assumed that the vehicle will need to be conditioned.
8. To what extent are gauging and calibration affected by this?
Germany: In Germany, in accordance with the current legislation (starting 2021/11/03), the devices only have to be calibrated annually, but no longer have to be calibrated. There is still an assessment of the device when it is first placed on the market (e.g. Module D). The regulations for the calibration guideline are being extended accordingly. The infrastructure required for this will be developed in the coming months.
The Netherlands: Similarly to Germany, there is also a type approval in the Netherlands. In line with this, routine testing must be carried out upon delivery and a simplified procedure is applied during servicing. However, there is no gauging in the Netherlands, and calibration in a laboratory accredited according to ISO17025 is also not necessary. Instead, factory calibrations are carried out.
9. Is the AVL DiTEST device also equipped for changing market conditions?
Yes. The measuring devices for particle concentration measuring, based on the advanced DC method, also take into account future changes to conditions. Both petrol models and post-EURO 6 technologies can be measured. This has been shown in various studies and in European research projects.
10. Will particle concentration measuring also be applied to petrol vehicles in the future?
At the moment, there are only plans to introduce this for diesel vehicles.
If this is successful, there will certainly also be discussions about applying this to petrol vehicles. Modern petrol vehicles are also fitted with particle filters these days. These should also be regularly checked during the PTI.
11. Do I need to buy new emissions testing equipment when introducing particle concentration measuring?
AVL DiTEST will offer a retrofitting solution for existing units for the current AVL DiTEST CDS and MDS emission analysers as well as for the old AVL DIX devices. There will also be attractive offers for all other devices.
12. From when will the AVL DiTEST device be available for delivery?
Devices from AVL DiTEST are expected to be available for sale six months before the introduction deadline via AVL DiTEST trading partners.
13. Can AVL DiTEST provide the expected high number of devices?
Yes, AVL DiTEST is very well prepared for increased demand for the Counter with a scalable production concept and the necessary production capacities. The holistic concept even goes beyond manufacturing, because the devices are calibrated in our own ISO 17025-accredited calibration laboratory.