CNG Fuel

 

CNG Fuel

CNG Fuel Vehicles? Looking for information on any results you might have. We had CNG vehicles years ago (Carb models) with terrible results. With all the new technology out there some of the information looks promising. I’m looking for range, cold starts and above 6,000 feet attitude results good or bad. Also any information on the CNG Interstructure to support both fast and slow fills.

Anonymous (not verified)
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Today's CNG vehicles cannot be compared to the carbureted conversion kits of old. We have great success with CNG, but cold starts for us are typically only down to the 30 degrees range (no problems there) and I can't really speak to experience at 6,000 feet. I will say if the vehicles are calibrated at that altitude for your temperatures you should not experience any problems with today's computer controlled systems. The range will vary depending upon equipment type but 200 miles is a pretty safe number that we use for the sedans, refuse trucks, and busses we run on CNG. It's up to you to spec. the range you need on anything other than turnkey OEM vehicles you purchase. The main attraction for us right now is cost- CNG is under $1.50/GGE for our onsite CNG and retail is about $2.35-$2.50 gallon. Of course there are also emission benefits and the maintenance costs seem to be lower on CNG units as well performing the work in-house. If you are running refuse trucks or transit busses these seem to be slam dunk applications with ridiculously low ROI cycles.

Anonymous (not verified)
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We run about 1100 natural gas units in our fleet. In general we have very few operational issues with the light duty CNG units. They run fine in all kinds of weather and conditions. The range limitations (180-200 miles per fill) are kind of a pain, but are pretty easy to manage. The price of the fuel is pretty inconsistent in the retail markets ranging anywhere from $0.50-$1.00 per gge lower than gasoline. The fueling infrastructure is a much bigger issue. Its not bad if you operate in a very limited area, but if you want to use the units for utilitarian transportation, it can range from a minor challenge on one of the spectrum to a real problem on the other. Fast fill fueling units are great. You can fill a unit in just a few minutes. The slow fill are just that....slow. They work great when they are parked all day or all night, but not a good tool for short term fills. I think that our slow fills only push about 1 gge per hour, maybe a little less. We have also tried both CNG and LNG on larger units. CNG works fine but requires major spec modifications to address tank storage if you want any significant range. We have not had a lot of luck with LNG and the LNG fueling infrastructure.

Anonymous (not verified)
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There is a significant difference with the technology being used with NGVs today. We currently operate ~1,000 vehicles in our fleet with 50 natural gas powered utility bodies in production that with a 18.6 GGE of on-board CNG are expected to get over 200 miles of range. In addition we currently have 5 dedicated CNG construction crew trucks (gas distribution) being built on a 33,000 GVWR Freightliner chassis with a dedicated CNG Cummins ISL 6.7L 2010 EPA compliant engine and will be equipped with an under-deck air compressor and a rear mounted detachable backhoe. With a Freightliner estimated 4 to 8 MPG, our 60 DGE (Diesel Gallon Equivalent) should give us an operating range of 240 to 480 miles. Having said that, you should know that there is significant activity for the development of Natural Gas Vehicles, legislative advocacy, fueling infrastructure development, and engagement with OEMs that is currently underway in North America. These efforts are being lead by the Drive Natural Gas Initiative comprised of representatives from American Gas Association (gas utilities) and America’s Natural Gas Association (producers). With the abundance of natural gas due to shale plays in North America, the advancement of computer technology, daily growth of fueling infrastructure across the U.S. and Canada, the OEMs are being compelled to reenter the natural gas vehicle market. I welcome the opportunity to share any information that you may need and or get you in touch with the right people.

Anonymous (not verified)
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I agree. There is a great deal of effort being placed on OEMs to produce natural gas vehicles and on utilities to increase natural gas fueling infrastructure. The OEMs have a fairly decent natural gas line-up already in play from class 1 - class 8's. The real challenge from my perspective is going to be infrastructure. Its not a problem if you operate in a fairly small, consistent area, but if you operate in a large area or an inconsistent dispatch territory, its a challenge. You also have to consider the actual pipes and fueling stations. If you have access to someone else's fueling stations, that a pretty good spot to be in. But if you have to install your own, it can (and more than likely will) run into the millions of dollars. From the projects that I have seen, they have run anywhere from $2M to $7M for the pipeline, site work and stations. That's not bad if you do a lot of volume, but if you don't, that's a pretty big investment. You also need to consider the station inspection requirements. I know they change depending on state, but some require daily, week, monthly and annual inspections. That can be a huge hidden cost that most forget to calculate