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GE Targets a $500 Home Fueler

July 25, 2012 in CNG by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Chilled Not Squeezed as Targets Include One-Hour Fill-Ups

GE is partnered with Chart Industries and the University of Missouri as with federal ARPE-E support it seeks a home unit, for about $500, that can fuel a natural gas vehicle in an hour.

GE’s concept is to chill the natural gas, rather than rely on conventional compression.

Rather than rely on conventional compression, the GE-Chart-Missouri team “will design a system that chills, densifies and transfers compressed natural gas more efficiently,” GE says. “It will be a much simpler design with fewer moving parts, and that will operate quietly and be virtually maintenance-free.”

ARPA-E is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

According to Anna Lis Laursen, project leader and chemical engineer at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, N.Y., the goal is “an at-home refueling station that is much simpler in design, more cost effective and reduces re-fueling times to under an hour.

If All Goes Well, Just Another GE Appliance

“By reducing the time and cost of re-fueling, we can break down the barriers that are preventing more widespread adoption of [CNG] vehicles,” she said in a release. “If we can meet our cost targets, the price of a home refueling station would be less than typical appliances in the home such as a dishwasher or stove.”

The total cost of the 28-month program will be approximately $2.3 million, GE says, to be shared by ARPA-E and GE. GE will focus on overall system design integration, while Chart and the University of Missouri will address detailed engineering, cost and manufacturability of the key system components.

The initial focus will be on fueling for fleets, with an eye to passenger vehicles in the future, GE says.

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