NEW CNG FUELING TECH CUTS INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS
A North American compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling vendor has introduced technology it says significantly reduces the cost of installing CNG fueling infrastructure for a time-fill application. The technology has been adopted by a large commercial fleet.
Safelite AutoGlass has begun using new CNG fueling technology. Safelite is installing the technology from Simple-Fill at its Worthington, Ohio, facility this month, and will begin using the technology to fuel as many as eight vans in the service fleet. Safelite sends the vans to customers for vehicle glass repair and replacement.
Simple-Fill's technology would replace a traditional reciprocating piston compressor, known as a recip, that's used as part of CNG fueling infrastructure. Rather than a recip, Simple-Full uses a unit that's filled with glycol-based fluid that takes the moisture out of the gas during compression. It replaces the dehydration unit used in a recip.
Simple-Fill's liquid compresses, cools, and dehydrates the natural gas, while eliminating methane leakage. The technology was originally conceived in 2012 at The Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research, according to the company.
In 2014, Simple-Fill signed an exclusive technology license with Ohio State and has been working with Worthington Industries and Parker Hannifin Corporation to bring the approach to the mass market.
Simple-Fill's technology costs about half the price of a recip, which costs about $50,000 to $60,000. The unit is comparable to a recip that produces four equivalent gasoline gallons of CNG per hour.