Eaton is targeting just $500 for the NGV home fueler it’s developing with the support of ARPA-E, the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
“Current natural gas refueling systems cost between $5,000 and $10,000,” Eaton said Friday. “Eaton expects that its prototype will be available before the end of 2015 with a target production price of $500.”
ARPA-E has listed Eaton as one of 13 designated natural gas vehicle project awardees, proposing $3.4 million toward a low-cost device “that will use a liquid, which acts as a piston, to compress natural gas,” with an Eaton-engineered heat-transfer material to control the temperature during compression and improve efficiency (F&F, July 13).
It’s part of ARPA-E’s Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy initiative – MOVE.
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“Eaton will remove an important barrier to increased use of natural gas-powered cars and trucks,” innovation VP Chris Roche said in a release.
“This project presents an exciting opportunity to find a safe, efficient and sustainable way to harness a critical alternative fuel source.”
The project will be led by Eaton innovation teams in Southfield, Mich., and Milwaukee, and the advanced hydraulics group in Eden Prairie, Minn. “Teams will draw on Eaton’s expertise in hydraulic component and systems design and experience gained through development and installation of thousands of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations” (more than 2,000 shipped), the company says.
Eaton will collaborate with the University of Minnesota on “thermodynamic analysis and modeling to enable the efficient transfer of heat in the compression process.”
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Source: Eaton release and Fleets & Fuels follow-up