A common issue that arises from using gaseous alternative fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or AutoGas (LPG) in its Vapor form is intake valve recession. In this article we will look at what valve recession is, why this occurs and what measures can be taken to prevent valve recession. TransTech Energy Alternative Fuel Systems policy is to educate consumers so that they can fully understand the newer advancements in Alternative Fuels so they can be on the cutting edge and benefit from the best technology without the possibility of harming their vehicle.
Not long ago lead was removed from gasoline in the united states, manufacturers quickly realized that with the loss of lead the exhaust valves would become too hot and “burn” the valves. The OEM’s acted quickly and began installing hardened exhaust valves and valve seats to fix this issue.
Modern day technologies have been developed that allow consumers and fleets the ability to run CNG and Vaporized AutoGas in factory gasoline engines. Just like the removal of lead from gasoline, these alternative fuels are a huge leap in cleaning our environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately this leap also brings along with it the same issue of burning valves, but on the intake side of the head.
When gasoline is injected into an engine it is atomized with the intake air charge, but it is still in a liquid form. The gasoline as it enters the combustion chamber and passes the intake valve it helps to cool the valve since the liquid hits it and evaporates on contact. A side effect of this process is carbon deposits from the dirty gasoline on the valves as it evaporates on the valve. You have probably seen images of this at your local gas station pump where newer gasoline is being marketed with cleaning agents to help keep this carbon build-up from occurring. CNG and Vapor AutoGas conversions are injecting a vapor into the combustion chamber. This is great since these cleaner alternative fuels eliminate the carbon build-up on the valves, but because of this there is no evaporating of the fuel on the intake valve to help cool it. To add fuel to the fire these gaseous alternative fuels burn hotter than gasoline and cause the intake valves to become even hotter.
The intake valves in an engine become very hot during operation. The only time they have to dissipate that heat is when the valve closes and is seated in the head. During this time the heat from the valve is transferred into the head and from there transferred into the cooling system of the engine. Since these gaseous alternative fuels don’t offer an evaporative cooling and burn hotter than gasoline; the intake valve overheats. Once the intake valve overheats, when it is seated in the head, that heat is so great that it begins to melt the aluminum of the head at the valve seat and to “recess” into the head. Over time this causes leaks at the seat which in turn causes uneven cooling of the valve and ultimately causes the valve to melt at the leak. This process is commonly referred to by mechanics as burning a valve.
Like the removal of lead from gasoline, this issue is easily fixed by installing hardened intake valves and hardened intake valve seats. This is the exact fix that was done by the OEM’s on the exhaust valves with the implementation of unleaded gasoline. Some OEM’s are actually already preparing for these new alternative fuels to take over the market by offering CNG/AutoGas engine prepped motors from the factory. For a very small option price these prepped motors come with hardened intake valves and hardened valve seats straight from the factory to eliminate valve recession.
Another fix on the AutoGas alternative fuel side is to convert a gasoline motor with Liquid AutoGas injection instead of vapor. When AutoGas is injected as a liquid it performs like gasoline by evaporating on and around the intake valve. This cools the intake valves so much that it even counter acts the additional heat produced by the hotter burning alternative fuel and eliminates valve recession on the intake valves.
As you can see valve recession is easily fixed when converting a gasoline powered motor to run on these clean alternative fuels. Be sure to ask your conversion specialist at TransTech Energy Alternative Fuel Systems if you have any questions regarding valve recession or any other Alternative Fuel questions.
There are 2 ways to inject AutoGas when performing a Bi-fuel conversion on a gasoline engine: Vapor injection or Liquid injection. This article will hit some key points of the differences of these systems and how they operate and demonstrate the significant advantage liquid injection offers in Autogas Bi-fuel engine systems.
A Vapor injection system takes liquid AutoGas from the tank and converts it to vapor via a vaporizer, once it is in vapor form it is then injected into the motor at the intake manifold right before the intake valve. The vaporizer is connected to the vehicles heating hoses and uses that heat to vaporize the liquid AutoGas. These vaporizers have a reputation for being very temperamental and can even leak Autogas directly into the vehicles cooling system upon seal failure.
Vapor systems use a “piggyback” ECU to monitor the engine parameters. This requires the installer to open up the main factory wiring harness of the vehicle and solder a large number of connections, in some systems up to 40 wires need to be cut and soldered. This is a very intensive and invasive process and is very time consuming. Converters then use the engine information to program fueling maps into the vapor systems ECU so that the correct amount of Autogas is injected into the vehicle. The only way that this can be done properly is to be tuned on a rolling road dyno. This allows multiple driving scenarios to be obtained and a proper fuel map to be developed under varying load conditions. An area of concern with this type of mapping is that conversion “specialists” are relying on driving vehicles in parking lots and down back roads while trying to develop fuel maps for vapor systems. How in depth can the maps be in limited scenarios? This is the main reason we see vapor systems that seem to work one day and run bad the next- they have not been tuned properly from the start.
Once “tuned” the vapor is injected into the vehicles combustion chambers as a vapor. This could create a problem with the intake valves of the engine. These valves get very hot during operation and when they close they must quickly dissipate that heat into the head of the engine. During gasoline operation the gasoline actually cools the valve down as it enters the combustion chamber. Vaporized Autogas does not cool the valves as it enters the combustion chamber, couple that with the fact that AutoGas burns hotter than gasoline and we run into the issue of valve recession. Valve recession occurs when the intake valves become hot and cannot dissipate that heat to the cylinder head effectively. Once this happens, the head, usually made of aluminum, begins to melt when the valve hits it. This ends up destroying the valve seat and allows the valve to “recess” into the head, losing its seal. Once valve recession occurs the only option to repair it is to pull the heads and perform a complete valve job. Valve recession is not only an issue for vapor Autogas but it is also an issue for CNG converted vehicles. Some original equipment manufacturers have begun to offer Autogas/CNG prepped engine options that add hardened valves and valve seats to motors so that valve recession does not occur.
Now that we understand more about Vapor injected Autogas conversions let’s talk about Liquid Injected AutoGas conversions…
Liquid Autogas injection pumps liquid directly from the tank and injects it directly into the intake manifold through electronic injectors as a liquid into the combustion chamber. Since it injects liquid there is no need for a vaporizer. There is however an Autogas pump located in the tank. This pump supplies correct fuel pressure to the injector rail just like its gasoline counterparts. This design also consists of an AutoGas return line and AutoGas pressure regulator to control the Autogas pressure.
The calibration for Liquid Autogas injection is actually done at the injectors themselves. When the system is being designed engineers take the factory gasoline injector and flow test it, they then match up a corresponding Autogas injector that will give the proper ratio of fuel to air for the combustion chamber. Because of this breakthrough technology Liquid injection conversions such as the Icom JTG do not need “piggyback” computers or any aftermarket tuning. These systems just consist of a switching box that cuts the signal to the stock gasoline injectors and sends that signal to the AutoGas injectors. Since the factory OEM ECU and fuel map is used you get the same drivability and performance as you did when it ran on gasoline, not to mention you do not have to hack into the factory wiring harness to add a “piggyback” computer.
When Liquid is injected into the motor directly in front of the intake valve it almost instantly begins to evaporate into a vapor, as it is doing this it provides a cooling effect on the intake valve. This cooling effect completely eliminates the issue of valve recession with this type of AutoGas injection.
From this you can see that not all conversion systems are created equally. The delivery of the AutoGas into the motor is a crucial part in the performance and quality of the conversion. The OEM’s have picked up on this and now offer dedicated AutoGas vehicles with liquid AutoGas injection.
For more detailed information on Liquid Autogas Injection Engine Systems, visit the Alternative Fuel Systems Division of TransTech Energy at http://www.transtechenergy.com/alternative-fuel/propane-motor-fuel/ .
TransTech Energy Alternative Fuel Systems
continues to expand its propane alternative fuel solutions with the addition of the Icom JTG Propane Liquid Injection Engine System. The JTG Propane Liquid Injection System
is currently in service on more than 100,000 vehicles globally in the bi-fuel version. In the U.S., some 5,000 vehicles have been converted to propane use in the mono-fuel application of this technology offered as direct OEM applications.
TransTech Energy recently entered into a national agreement with Icom North America as a National Master Distributor/Installer and is marketing the new Icom system along with their other propane alternative fuel solutions, which include bi-fuel propane engine systems and propane diesel liquid injection systems.
"We are very excited to add TransTech Energy as a National Distributor/Installer of our JTG Liquid Injection System," said Albert Venezio, Chairman of Icom North America. "TransTech Energy has an excellent reputation and is well respected throughout the propane industry as a leading contractor for propane storage facility engineering and construction. We are confident their success and commitment to excellence will carry over into their Alternative Fuels Division." Venezio also added, "TransTech Energy presents a unique opportunity for fleet customers as they not only offer the engine conversions, they are experts in the propane storage and fueling equipment aspect of the business, providing a true turnkey solution to fleets."
The Icom Bi-fuel Engine System can be installed on virtually any gasoline vehicle with multipoint injection, providing the vehicle with excellent drivability, performance and torque, with reduced emissions.
David Kennedy, TransTech's Alternative Fuel Manger, is excited about the opportunity this bi-fuel solution brings to the company's product offering. He notes, "one of the great things about this engine system is the gasoline mode of the vehicle is not disturbed and can still be used." "Additionally the installation is completely non-invasive, as it utilizes the original ECU (engine computer) of the vehicle as the main controller, something fleet managers like to see with an aftermarket alternative fuel system."
"This is a great bi-fuel system for fleet vehicles, including taxi and utility; law enforcement; state, county and municipal vehicles and other high mileage vehicles," offered Britt Medley, CEO of TransTech Energy. "We have researched the bi-fuel marketplace for quite some time and are very happy to be working with Icom North America. They are known globally as a leader in propane engine technologies and provide proven, reliable technology our customers can count on."
TransTech Energy's Alternative Fuel Systems Division offers total Alternative Fuel Solutions to vehicle fleets of any size. From fleet engine system conversions -- including bi-fuel systems as well as propane diesel injection systems -- to autogas fuel dispensing and storage and bulk autogas fuel delivery options, they handle all aspects of fleet alternative fuel requirements, backed by years of experience and a track record of success.
Icom North America, LLC, founded in 2004, is the U.S.-based affiliate of Icom S.p.A. of Italy, a pioneer in the development and manufacture of liquid propane gas conversion systems and tanks for commercial and passenger vehicles. The company assembles the Icom Liquid Injection Propane vehicle conversion system and additional Icom products, including the proprietary Icom toroidal and cylindrical propane tank, for commercial and passenger OEM and aftermarket vehicles in North America and selected other markets. North American headquarters are in New Hudson, Michigan.
To learn more about TransTech Energy Alternative Fuel Systems, visit them at: http://www.transtechenergy.com/alternative-fuel/propane-motor-fuel/
Propane-air, Synthetic Natural Gas, SNG, Propane Blending System, Standby System, Peak Shaving System are all common names in our industry for the application, process or end product that occurs when Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG or propane) is blended with air. Let's call it for this article's sake Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), because that is really what it is by definition.
SNG is a direct replacement for natural gas. In composition, SNG is a blend of LPG and air. The ratio of LPG to air will vary depending on the Wobbe Value required to match the energy value of the gas it is replacing.
SNG applications are many, but the main applications in our industry are:
SNG Backup Systems- allow Industrial gas customers to change from "firm" to an "interruptable" natural gas rate structure, providing significant savings.
SNG Peak Shaving Systems of Natural Gas- used by Natural Gas companies and Industrial clients to augment their Natural Gas demand during peak demand periods.
SNG Base-Load Systems- used in areas where Natural Gas is currently unavailable, providing a bridge fuel or a long-term solution for an energy need.
Making SNG. There are five basic steps for making SNG:
1. You need two ingredients: LPG (propane) and air.
2. A pump is needed to pump liquid propane from the storage tank to the vaporizer at an elevated pressure.
3. At the vaporizer, liquid propane is heated until it becomes vapor.
4. Propane vapor and air are blended at a ratio of approximately 55:45, this mixture is SNG
5. Lastly the SNG needs to be discharged into the existing natural gas line and into the plant.
These steps are obviously over-simplified. For more specific information on SNG systems for Standby or Peak Shaving applications, please contact a Propane-air/SNG specialist at TransTech Energy www.transtechenergy.com
With the July 2011 deadline approaching for compliance with NFPA 58, we think it makes a lot of sense to inspect all vital components of your bulk plant. One of the most important safety components of your LP-gas storage vessel is the internal relief valve system. LP-gas relief valves are intended to open only under the excessive pressure conditions indicated below. The container pressure will get high enough to open relief valves under the following conditions:
- Filling containers not purged of air
- Overfilled container exposed to heat, which includes radiant heat (sun).
- Use of an incorrect product such as propane in a container with relief valve set for butane pressures (Low set pressure for service)
- All containers exposed to extreme heat (fire).
- Excessive pressures created during filling
Typically relief valves should be inspected each time the container is filled but no less than once a year. If there is any doubt about the condition of the valve, it must be replaced.
Under normal conditions, the useful safe service life of a pressure relief valve is 10 years from the original date of manufacture. However, the safe useful life of the valve may be shortened and replacement required in less than 10 years depending on the environment in which the valve lives. Inspection and maintenance of pressure relief valves is very important.
As you are upgrading your LP-Gas storage vessels to meet 2011 compliance, please take the time to inspect the status of the relief valves to see when they were last replaced. While your system is offline and the 2011 upgrades are being performed, it is the perfect time to replace your relief valves to maximize your return on the LP-Gas contractor's mobilization costs.
For more questions or assistance with inspecting your LP-Gas Bulk Plant for NFPA 58 or internal relief valve compliance, please contact the propane storage systems specialist at TransTech Energy http://www.transtechenergy.com/ .
With the agriculture harvest and drying season approaching, we have recently received many calls from farmers looking to increase their propane storage capacity in order to help decrease their costs for gas, by being able to accept transport delivery.
Many of the calls start out with "I'm interested in buying a 12,000 gallon propane storage tank for a new bulk plant." The 12,000 gallons being significant as they believe it will allow them to receive a 10,500 gallon transport sized load of propane (transport delivery typically has a significantly lower cost per gallon). We then have to remind the buyer that propane storage tanks, by industry standards, should not be filled to more than 85% of the stated water capacity- so a 12,000 gallon bulk plant would need to be nearly completely empty to receive that transport sized delivery.
We thought it important to remind new propane storage tank buyers that you need to properly "size" your bulk plant. We typically recommend 18,000 to 30,000 gallon bulk plants when feasible for our agriculture customers. The extra storage not only allows them to receive a transport delivery, it will also allow them to buy and store more propane when prices are seasonally low- thus helping to increase their bottom line.
Storage capacity for a 12,000 gallon tank = 10,200 gallons
Storage capacity for a 18,000 gallon tank = 15,300 gallons
Storage capacity for a 30,000 gallon tank = 25,500 gallons
For assistance with sizing your next bulk plant, please contact the propane storage systems specialist at TransTech Energy ( http://www.transtechenergy.com/ ).
Building a new bulk propane plant? Upgrading your existing bulk plant storage capacity? Installing a standby or peak shaving propane-air/SNG plant? Should you be buying a new or used propane storage tank? Below are few things you should consider when making the decision to purchase a bulk propane storage tank.
Safety factor better with older tanks:
As the price of steel has continued to increase over time, the Federal Government has allowed tanks to be built with thinner steel. Over time we have seen the safety factor reduced from the original safety factor, 5 to 1, down to 4 to 1, and then again to 3.5 to 1 for new tanks. So basically older tanks even the 200psig U68 and U69 code tanks are considerably thicker and produced to a higher safety factor than brand new tanks. This is one reason many people consider buying a used propane storage tank versus a new one
Propane Storage Tanks that have a National Board Number either on their Data Plate or stamped in the steel are able to have paperwork obtained, referred to as the U1A Data report, which is basically a birth certificate of the tank detailing the material used, original openings, manufacturer , inspectors, dates, pressure test, certifications, and so on. These tanks are able to be placed back into service in most states and other countries due to their ability to have paperwork produced.
Today's "green movement" reminds us all to reduce, reuse and recycle. Purchasing a used propane storage tank versus a new one not only saves the customer money, it is also a large form of recycling and being "Green" as the steel is reused without exhausting the energy required to lift, transport, purge out all vapors, cut up, melt, and many times to ship the steel out of the country only to be sent back over to the US using more energy.
Turnaround time and freight costs
Ordering a new bulk propane storage tank requires planning and often times a waiting period of several weeks or months for the tank to be built and delivered. It has also recently been the case that the final price of the tanks is not known until they are built and a steel "Surcharge" is then placed on top of the tank price which is normally thousands of dollars. The location the new tank is shipped from may not be conveniently located to your plant site and freight costs can be very high. Often times you can find a used bulk storage tank near your plant site, buy it immediately and save thousands on freight costs, due to its proximity to your site.
More bang for your buck
For anyone who has priced a new tank the savings is well known, as well as the time often spent waiting for a new tank to be built for your project. New propane storage tanks are often 50% to 100% more costly than used propane tanks. These percentages can grow during times of large steel price increases.
How to determine the proper amount of storage you require?
A qualified Commercial Propane /SNG Contractor will be able to determine the space and distance requirement s needed for the size and quantity of propane tanks needed for any project. As well as the number of tanks that are allowed to be in a group and the distance required between the groups of propane tanks.
The installation of new or used propane bulk storage tanks verses domestic propane tanks will allow the consumer to purchase transport loads of gas which is on average about 9,000 gallons or more in some states where the transports are allowed by the Department of Transportation to be larger. In most cases this greatly reduces the cost of propane as the dealer does not have to handle the product twice by first having transport deliver it to their bulk storage tank and then utilize their bobtail delivery truck and driver to bring a smaller amount to a domestic tank. There is also a reduction in insurance costs to the dealer when the propane is sent directly to the end user and does not run through their propane storage tank which plays a part in the reduction in cost to the consumer.
To properly size propane tanks, as well as propane liquid and or vapor piping, a commercial propane or SNG contractor will need to know the maximum BTU load that a consumer will require. This would be the combined maximum load of all the equipment and appliances that a facility has - meaning the maximum consumption of BTUs per hour of each appliance. This will tell us what size propane tank is required as well as any vaporizer and or blender system that may be needed to provide adequate propane or SNG (Synthetic Natural Gas).
It may be wise to consider the possibility of future growth and need for more propane at your operation rather than size a propane system to meet the current needs, or at least try and permit for future storage to be added and have this added to any submitted drawings. Having more capacity also gives the consumer more buying power and the ability to save money during times when propane may be priced lower. This additional storage may also give the consumer the ability to ride out tough demand times and high gas prices saving even more money and alleviating the stress of paying higher prices and time spent locating hard to acquire peak demand propane.
For more assistance with your propane storage requirements please fill free to contact the propane storage experts at TransTech Energy. TransTech Energy sells new and used propane storage tank systems and provide design, engineering and bulk plant construction services. With more than 50 years of experience in propane storage systems, TransTech Energy has one of the largest used propane storage tank inventories in the US. Visit our website today at www.transtechenergy.com or call our office at 888-206-4563. Not all inventory is shown on the website as TransTech Energy is constantly acquiring additional used propane tanks and equipment.
TransTech Energy also purchases underutilized or decommissioned tanks and plants, please contact us today for a tank or plant acquisition appraisal.
Another month behind us, another month closer to July 2011. What's the big deal? If you have a large inventory of propane storage tanks in service and you rely on propane as one of your primary utilities, I'll tell you what the big deal is with getting closer to July 2011.
NFPA 58 requires all propane storage tanks with greater than 4,000 gallons of storage capacity to have their opening valves upgraded to thermally actuated valves with remote shutdown capability prior to July 2011.
The primary purpose of this new standard is to make high volume propane storage facilities safer.
Thermally actuated valves will provide the following:
- Automatic shut-down of system in case of fire or damage to piping.
- Limiting vapor release in case of ruptured piping, thus creating a safer environment for the community.
- Single point emergency tank shut-down eliminating the need for manually closing valves.
Back to the big deal. As we call on larger commercial customers and government agencies with large fleets of propane storage tanks (bulk plants) we are amazed at the high numbers that are not even aware of the 2011 compliance deadline. We often assume the role of educator and begin to preach the importance of acting now versus waiting to the last minute. Why act now?
Budgets, planning, season consumption demands, and many other obstacles tend to eat away at our time and ability to schedule work. If you have 50 propane storage tanks in service requiring 2011 upgrades and you start the work by doing 2 tanks per month, you will not finish the upgrades on all tanks until July 2011. I guess this is the big deal.
There are literally thousands of propane storage tanks that are not in compliance yet in the U.S.. As we get closer to 2011 the availability of qualified crews to complete this work could become harder to find, not to mention adequate inventory of valves for those tanks requiring the retrofits.
We recommend you get started on a 2011 strategy today. Get started by educating yourself on the NFPA 58 compliance requirements. Perform site inspections to determine if your bulk plants require upgrading or not. Get a quote from a qualified LPG contractor and get on their schedule as soon as possible. Make sure your business remains operational and in compliance. Don't let this become a big deal for you.
For a step-by-step guide on how to determine if your tanks are compliant or not, click here to download TransTech Energy's NFPA 58 Compliance Guide.
Propane Use in Agriculture Applications
With every year that passes we are noticing more and more applications for propane in a wide array of new industries. While propane use in agriculture is certainly not something new, some of the below applications highlighted by the Propane Education and Research Council are fundamental to the industry.
Nearly 80 percent of farms in the United States use propane, and with good reason: propane is a clean-burning, reliable, and efficient energy source that farmers can depend on.
Thermal agriculture uses heat to protect crops from the cold, and flames to eliminate weeds and dangerous pathogens that can cause serious damage to crops and livestock. Propane is an excellent fuel source for heating, incinerating, and sanitizing without the use of pesticides.
Thermal agriculture research focuses primarily on pest control. It involves the research and development of equipment or processes to control pests such as weeds, insects, microbes, and others that, if left unchecked, have a negative effect on the production of agriculture commodities.
Crop and Food Conditioning
Crop and food conditioning protects against insects, removes weeds, and reduces dry-down time, enabling farmers to harvest healthy crops quicker, earlier, and easier. Propane is a highly transportable energy source well-suited for fueling the conditioning process.
Crop and food conditioning research develops propane technologies that help farmers prepare crops for harvest, process crops for storage or sale, and safely store harvested crops.
Nutrient management is a method of managing farm waste - one of the largest concerns of growing livestock confinement operations and other types of agriculture. As a clean burning, energy-rich fuel, propane is an excellent fuel source for this type of technology.
Nutrient Management research develops technologies that help farmers maintain proper management of waste materials. These materials are often rich in valuable nutrients that can support or enhance other agricultural production..
Power is required in the agricultural industry for the operation of machinery and other technologies that enable farms to run as efficiently as possible. Propane is both an economical and efficient fuel well-suited to power this type of technology.
Power research develops and demonstrates power generation technologies for agricultural uses, including investment in engines, fuel cells, and microturbines.
The Propane Education & Research Council is responsible fot the above content. PERC continues to play an important role in the education and research of the LPG industry and is the recognized authority for relevant and reliable data. For more information on PERC, please visit their website at www.propanecouncil.org .
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law that contained several positive provisions for propane. On October 3, 2008, former President George W. Bush signed the omnibus financial rescue package that contained three other high priority propane tax credit extensions. This article summarizes the favorable provisions in these two laws that will directly benefit the propane industry. This summary material is provided for informational purposes only; please consult a professional tax advisor to determine if these provisions apply to your specific tax situation.
Alternative Fuel Tax Credit
The 50-cent-per-gallon alternative fuel tax credit is extended through the end of 2009.
Refueling Infrastructure Tax Credit
The percentage of the credit for alternative fuel refueling property is increased from 30% to 50% and the cap amount increases from $30,000 to $50,000. This provision applies to property placed in service in 2009 and 2010. (Expires Dec. 31, 2010.)
Energy Efficient Appliance Tax Credit
The percentage of the tax credit for covered energy efficient furnaces and water heaters increases from 10% to 30%. The lifetime cap for these credits is increased from $500 to $1,500. Importantly, installation costs associated with efficient appliances may be claimed. Provisions apply to property placed in service after December 31, 2008 and before January 1, 2011. (Minimum efficiency standards: propane furnaces must have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of not less than 95 while propane water heaters must have an energy factor (EF) of at least 0.80 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90%.)
General Provisions that Will Benefit the Propane Industry
Expensing-For 2008, Congress temporarily increased the amount businesses may expense (deduct immediately as opposed to depreciate) from $125,000 to $250,000. In addition, the phase out limitation for the credit (the total amount of property that the business placed in service that year) was also temporarily increased from $500,000 to $800,000 for 2008. The higher temporary figures continue for another year, meaning the $250,000 and $800,000 figures will apply to property placed in service in 2009.
Net Operating Losses (NOL)-NOL generally means the amount by which business deductions exceed gross income. The law increases the general NOL carry back period from two (2) years to as much as five (5) years for any taxable year during 2008 and 2009. In addition, it now only applies to small businesses which are defined as businesses with gross receipts of $15 million or less.
Extension of Bonus Depreciation-Businesses are allowed to recover the cost of capital expenditures over time according to a depreciation schedule. Last year, Congress temporarily allowed businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures made in 2008 faster than the ordinary depreciation schedule would allow by permitting these businesses to immediately write off 50% of the cost of the depreciable property (e.g. equipment, tractors, wind turbines, solar panels and computers) acquired in 2008 for use in the United States. The law extends this tempo-rary benefit for capital expenditures incurred in 2009.