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CVEF to Propose Formal DGE Standard

June 20, 2012 in CNG, LNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Gasoline Equivalent Definition Was Formalized in 1994

The NGVAmerica-affiliated Clean Vehicle Education Foundation will propose pounds of natural gas as the accepted unit of measurement when determining a diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) of natural gas sold to retail customers.

But just what does it cost compared with diesel? (LNG fueling photo courtesy Clean Energy Fuels)

This is similar to what was done in 1994 when the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) adopted the current gasoline gallon equivalent standard for natural gas, CVEF notes. Under that standard, 5.66 pounds of natural gas equals one GGE.

The proposal will be made this September at the Western Weights and Measures Association meeting September 16-20 in Colorado, and submitted to NCWM for final approval.

The industry’s experience with the GGE should speed acceptance of a new DGE standard, says CVEF president Doug Horne. He told F&F that natural gas dispensers could reflect the new standard in as little as a year.

CVEF believes that a National Institute of Standards and Technology “Handbook 130” definition for a DGE of natural gas should be based on the assumption that a typical gallon of diesel fuel contains approximately 128,700 Btu (lower heating value). Consequently, a DGE would equate to 6.312 pounds of LNG or CNG.

NCWM’s current GGE standard requires retailers to inform customers that one gasoline gallon equivalent equals 5.66 pounds of natural gas.

Easy Comparison with Diesel Sought

“This standard was proposed by natural gas proponents because it can easily be verified by weights and measures authorities and it allows for easy comparison of the cost of CNG and gasoline,” CVEF says.

“However, this standard does not currently cover sales of LNG and, even if it did, it does not allow for easy comparison with diesel fuel,” Horne notes.

“The CVEF proposal would give retail sellers of LNG and CNG the option of selling natural gas in GGE units or DGE units, or potentially both as a dispenser could be set up to give a reading in both units.”

The association notes that additional changes to NIST Handbook 44 will be proposed that will provide specifications for LNG dispensers similar to the existing specifications now in place for CNG dispensers.

CVEF has developed an explanatory document for this issue, and has posted it on the association website (link below).

Interested parties are encouraged to provide feedback on the DGE proposal.

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Source: Clean Vehicle Education Foundation

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