Better Fills for More Onboard Gas Without Heat Penalty
Australia-based IntelliGas is bringing its technology for more effective use of compressed natural gas for heavy vehicles to the U.S. The firm applies hydraulic intensifier technology to pre-chilled CNG to quickly fill trucks without a thermal penalty – effectively allowing more gas to be carried in fewer tanks.
“We can get 50% more fuel onboard in the same space on a truck,” says NaturalDrive veteran John Mitton, who is heading the Queensland-based company’s operation in North America.
IntelliGas equipment, the company says, effectively increases the energy density of CNG from just 20% of diesel’s to some 37%.
Cool5000, ChillFill, PLIGATS
The space and weight penalties associated with CNG on a tractor are thus significantly eased.
IntelliGas uses conventional CNG designs in concert with proprietary “Cool5000” equipment and processes. “Chilled, high-pressure, high energy density CNG,” the firm says, is transferred to vehicles using the firm’s “ChillFill” fueling process and a system dubbed PLIGATS, for Pressurized Liquid GAs Transfer System.
“High energy density results in lower flow rates in pipework and hoses, allowing effective chilling of CNG to sub-zero temperatures, with commensurate increase in fill percentage.”
5,000 psi Made Practical
Higher pressure CNG cylinders – IntelliGas envisions a transition to 5,000 psi as thermal problems are eliminated – mean a usable energy increase of as much as 80% as compared with today’s systems.
“Fast fill and 100% fill equates to more gas sales and reduced driveway congestion for the service station owner,” IntelliGas says, with “more fuel per fill with increased travel time between fills for the vehicle owner.”
“These patent-pending technologies, which have been proven in Australia, will be significant game-changers for the US market,” Mitton told F&F.
Beyond road vehicles, IntelliGas has been approved to bid on the historic conversion of 31 Chicago-area locomotives operated by the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad to CNG.
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Source: IntelliGas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up