Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Using compressed natural gas to its full potential"

An opinion piece by Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
Does CNG make sense for you and your company? The economics are completely sensible. The availability is beyond a 100-year supply just in the United States. And lastly, using U.S.-produced CNG will discourage our country's dependence on foreign resources — this alone can strengthen our country's national security. If there is a true downside to CNG use for vehicles, it has not been made known.

Complete text here.

Debunking Gasland Part II

In case you need to defend natural gas production from the claims made in the Gasland II movie, EnergyInDepth (EID) has prepared an extensive (7,000 word) debunk of the false claims that it made. If you're not up for that much reading, EID has released a new, simple infographic that highlights four of the biggest distortions from Gasland Part II: well "failure" rates, greenhouse gas emissions, regulatory compliance, and that infamous flaming hose. You can download the infographic [PDF] here. For the 7,000 word debunk, go here.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Clean Cities Top 20 Facts #5

From the Clean Cities Blog:
The success of the Clean Cities program over the past 20 years is possible in part because of a network of coalitions, stakeholders, and technical experts who collaborate to make an impact within local communities. Leveraging this network, Clean Cities is able to monitor trends in the marketplace, identify barriers to implementing projects, and develop solutions to these barriers.

These solutions include a set of more than a dozen easy-to-use online tools. These calculators, interactive maps, and data searches help fleets and drivers evaluate, select, and deploy alternative fuels and advanced vehicles as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Below are a few examples of these great resources.

The Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool helps users evaluate options and develop a plan to reduce petroleum use. The tool allows you to set goals and then quantify the estimated energy, environmental, and cost benefits associated with a deployment of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and efficiency measures.

The GREET Fleet Footprint Calculator can help calculate your fleet's well-to-wheels petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions footprint, and estimate the reductions that would result from future vehicle purchases.

The Find a Car tool allows users to search for a vehicle by comparing fuel efficiency, annual fuel costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and more. It includes vehicle models dating from the current year all the way back to 1984.

All of Clean Cities' online tools are listed in one convenient, central location on the Alternative Fuels Data Center. In addition to those listed above, you'll also find the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, BioFuels Atlas, the Light-Duty Vehicle Search, the Vehicle Cost Calculator, and the Laws and Incentives Search.

Many of Clean Cities' tools are available as widgets so you can feature them on your own website. And to explore petroleum-saving strategies on your handheld device, see Clean Cities' mobile tools.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Clean Skies Bulletin

American Clean Skies Foundation offers The Clean Skies Bulletin. This issue focuses on advancing cleaner transportation.

High gasoline prices and the need for natural gas

From T. Boone Pickens:
If you have a vehicle, you've seen what's happening to gasoline prices. They're going up, and in a hurry. As you may have seen on CNBC on July 22, average national prices rose 12 cents in the past week alone.

Take a look at this video and you'll have a better idea of why it's happening. And what the solution is.

We need to introduce competition to bring down prices and break the hold of OPEC oil, and we have the domestic fuel to do just that: Natural Gas. Watch this video and send it along to your friends and elected representatives.

Monday, July 22, 2013

NGV Today

Go here to subscribe or get a complementary issue of NGV Today. "Whether you are a natural gas producer, fuel service vendor, fueling station developer, vehicle and component manufacturer, NGV converter, fleet operator, natural gas utilities, with government or a Clean Cities coalition, you’ll find NGV Today a must read for breaking news, of-the-moment trends and a wealth of compelling data."

100,000 Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Clean Cities Top 20 Fact #4:
In May of this year, cumulative sales of commercially available plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the United States surpassed the 100,000 mark. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been tracking PEV sales, including those of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, since 2010. What was once a trickle has now gained significant momentum, as no fewer than 10 original equipment manufacturers are selling in volumes of a few dozen to thousands of vehicles per month.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Question Of The Month

Question of the Month: What are the key terms to know when discussing natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and their fueling infrastructure?

Answer: As with all alternative fuels, it is important to know how to "talk the talk" when it comes to natural gas. Becoming familiar with the terms below will help you better understand NGVs and the associated fueling infrastructure, so that you can ask the right questions and make informed decisions:

Fuel Types
  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): CNG is one of two forms of natural gas used to power vehicles. CNG is a gaseous fuel stored in a cylinder on the vehicle at a high pressure (see "psi" below). It may be kept in the vehicle cylinder for long periods of time without venting. A CNG vehicle gets about the same fuel economy as a conventional gasoline vehicle on a gasoline gallon equivalent basis (see "GGE" below). CNG is used in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle applications.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): LNG is produced by super-cooling natural gas to negative 260°F in order to convert it to a liquid. The fuel is stored in a double-walled, vacuum-sealed pressure vessel. LNG is appropriate for trucks and other heavy-duty applications that require a long range because liquid is more dense than gas (CNG) and more energy can be stored by volume in the vehicle's tank. LNG stored in a vehicle will increase in temperature and pressure over time and vent; therefore, LNG should be used within a week or two of fueling.
  • Renewable Natural Gas (RNG): Also known as biogas or biomethane, this emerging fuel source is derived from decaying organic materials, such as waste from plants, landfills, wastewater, and livestock. After purification, RNG may be compressed or liquefied to fuel vehicles.

Vehicle Types
  • Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV): There are three different types of NGVs available:
    • Dedicated Vehicle: Dedicated vehicles are designed to run only on natural gas and are used in both light-duty and heavy-duty applications. In general, dedicated NGVs demonstrate better performance and have lower emissions than bi-fuel vehicles (see below).
    • Bi-fuel Vehicle: These vehicles are able to run on either natural gas or gasoline because they have two separate fueling systems. Bi-fuel vehicles are typically light-duty models.
    • Dual-fuel Vehicle: These vehicles are traditionally used in heavy-duty applications and have fuel systems that run on natural gas, but use diesel fuel for ignition.

Fuel Measurement and Characteristics
  • CNG and LNG may be measured in:
    • Gasoline Gallon Equivalents (GGE): A unit of measure that represents the quantity of fuel that contains the same amount of energy as one gallon of gasoline. Measuring fuel in GGEs is a good way of comparing natural gas to gasoline, particularly when looking at fuel price or range. A GGE is equal to about 5.66 pounds of CNG and 1.55 gallons of LNG.
    • Diesel Gallon Equivalent (DGE): A unit of measure that represents the quantity of fuel that contains the same amount of energy as one gallon of diesel. A GGE is equal to about 6.34 pounds of CNG and 1.72 gallons of LNG.
  • CNG is also measured in:
    • Cubic feet (ft3): CNG is a gas, so it may be measured by volume. MCF represents 1,000 cubic feet.
    • Pounds (lbs.): CNG may also be measured in mass. Approximately 21 cubic feet of CNG equals one pound.
  • LNG is also measured in gallons, much like gasoline or diesel.
  • Pounds per Square Inch (psi): Psi is a measurement of the CNG pressure when it is stored in a dispenser or vehicle cylinder. CNG is typically stored onboard a vehicle at a pressure of 3,000 to 3,600 psi. The vehicle psi rating is important because it indicates the psi that the fuel system, vehicle cylinder, and the safety hardware are capable of handling safely.

Station Components
  • CNG stations have the following components:
    • Compressor: The device used to compress CNG to a high pressure.
    • Storage Tank: Once the gas is compressed, the CNG is moved to storage vessel(s) or tank(s) specially designed for the fuel.
    • Temperature Compensation: The temperature of CNG is important because it affects the density and energy per unit volume of the fuel. At higher temperatures, CNG expands and becomes less dense, causing it to contain less energy per unit volume as it would at a lower temperature. The temperature compensation devices ensure that the CNG is delivered to the vehicle at the appropriate temperature.
    • Dispenser: The device used to transfer CNG into a vehicle's tank. A CNG typically dispenser displays the pressure and temperature at which the tank is being filled and then calculates the amount of fuel being delivered.
  • LNG stations also have storage tanks and dispensers, but do not require a compressor or temperature compensation devices.

CNG Infrastructure Types
  • The following are two different types of CNG infrastructure:
    • Fast-fill: Drivers fueling their vehicles at a fast-fill station can fill up in approximately the same amount of time as a conventional vehicle at a gasoline or diesel station. This set-up is best suited for retail stations, where vehicles arrive in need of a quick fill, and CNG can be dispensed alongside gasoline or other fuel dispensers. Fast-fill stations receive low-pressure fuel from the local utility line and employ a compressor on site. Once compressed, the CNG is stored at high pressures so it can be delivered quickly to a vehicle. As such, fast-fill stations may have smaller compressors but a larger storage capacity than time-fill stations.
    • Time-fill: At a time-fill station, a vehicle may take several minutes to many hours to fill up; the time depends on the number of vehicles fueling, compressor size, and storage. Time-fill stations are typically used for fleets with central refueling locations or private stations that allow vehicles to fill up overnight. Time-fill stations can also work for smaller applications, such as residential fueling infrastructure. The fuel is also drawn from a local utility line into a compressor on site. Time-fill stations may have larger compressors and the vehicles are generally filled directly from the compressor, not from fuel stored in tanks. Time-fill stations have an advantage over fast-fill stations in that their heat of recompression is less so that vehicles at these stations usually get a fuller tank of fuel than with fast-fill.

Additional information on natural gas production and distribution, NGVs, and natural gas infrastructure can be found on the Alternative Fuel Data Center website. The NGVAmerica website also provides a wealth of information on natural gas and NGVs.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spotlight On Ethanol

#3 from the Clean Cities Blog is "Spotlight on Ethanol". This is third in a series of 20 Clean Cities Updates on the DOE Clean Cities Blog as part of the Clean Cities 20th Year Celebration. Here in the Coachella Valley we don’t have any public E-85 Dispensers that we are aware of. Checking the Clean Cities Alternative Fuels Data Center shows the closest public fueling station is the Oak Valley Chevron-Pearson Fuels in Beaumont (886 Oak Valley Pkwy; Beaumont CA 92223) and at the ARCO AM/PM-Pearson Fuels in Salton City (2084 S Marina Dr; Salton City, CA 92275). Here is the link for E85 fueling stations in our area.

The Editor

Friday, July 12, 2013

GNV Magazine: natural gas is in a stage of wealth

GNV Magazine reports on Shell Global's position on natural gas.
In a context that requires a clean and efficient fuel, natural gas could play an important role in meeting the growing needs of transport in the world, says Shell Global.

In a study on the future of fuel, the oil company ensures that natural gas is in a stage of wealth due to the exploitation of unconventional resources.

According to the analysis posted on its website, this fuel offers the ability to move ships, trucks, buses and airplanes.

Shell notes that in Europe, and with new environmental regulations in North America, is required transport operators to reduce local emissions, so that the liquefied natural gas (LNG) becomes the ideal fuel to be free of sulfur and particulate.

Regarding the use of natural gas in road transport, Shell says that this fuel has the potential to offer significant savings in fuel costs compared to conventional diesel. It also stresses that as in the case of ships, can help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) from production to use, compared to conventional diesel and biodiesel in new engines.

Given this potential of natural gas, Shell focuses on the heavy transport sector in Canada and the United States, so that works to supply this fuel along a truck route in Alberta.

Here's Shell Global's web page on natural gas.
Natural gas offers an affordable and environmentally acceptable option to power people’s lives today. It will also help to meet the world’s rising demand for more, cleaner energy into the future. Shell is using advanced technology to open up new resources of natural gas. Cooling gas to liquid allows us to ship it to faraway markets and we are moving ahead to build the world’s first giant floating facility to turn gas to liquid. In Qatar, we have constructed the world’s largest plant to turn natural gas into liquid products.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CNG Cylinder Inspection Training, August 19-20

The dates for the next training will be August 19 & 20, 2013. All other information below is unchanged.
CNG Cylinder Inspection Training

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pickens Plan 5th Anniversary


This week marks the fifth anniversary of the announcement of the Pickens Plan. When we began, no one was talking about energy. Now, every Governor and Senator and nearly every Member of Congress is discussing energy.

I want to share with you a video celebrating all we have accomplished together as well as an op-ed I wrote that ran in today's Dallas Morning News.

For the first time in more than 40 years, America is not playing defense in the energy field. Our vast resources of natural gas from shale and our ability to recover oil more efficiently and safely have turned the United States from having to worry about where our next imported tankful of gasoline or diesel was coming from to serious discussions about the status of exporting natural gas.

But we are not finished. We are making great gains at the state level to remove outdated taxes and regulations that allow a growing number of shippers to move their over-the-road trucks from imported diesel to domestic natural gas.

I will not rest until the last barrel of Middle Eastern oil has passed through the Strait of Hormuz on its way to the United States. We can get on our own resources for transportation. We can let the Chinese pay to protect their Middle Eastern oil. We can continue to grow our economy - and the economies of our two largest trading partners, Mexico and Canada. We can provide good, permanent jobs to more Americans. And we can clean up our environment by continuing to push our state and federal leaders to take the simple measures necessary to focus on domestic natural gas.

Thank you for your continued support. It would not have been possible - and I am not saying that lightly - without the support of members of the Pickens Plan Army like you. Let's keep the pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing and kick our addition to OPEC oil.

Here's to another five years!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Clean Cities Hall of Fame Reaches 14 Inductees

This is #2 of Clean Cities Top 20 Facts.

During the Clean Cities 20th anniversary event on June 24, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized two Clean Cities coordinators for their valuable contributions to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles: Yvonne Anderson and Rita Ebert.

Go here to see the 20 year history of Clean Cities.

Natural Gas Vehicles-The Clean Transportation Alternative

From Southern California Gas Company:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New 12-Liter Engine Will Boost Sales Of NG Trucks

Transport Topics reports that significantly higher sales of natural gas-powered trucks are expected. "They projected sales of natural gas-powered Class 8 vehicles would rise to about 4% of the total this year and 10% by 2016. That compares with almost 2% last year." Comments on the subject were made during a panel discussion at the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo last week.
  • Kenworth Trucks: "Natural gas is now a mature market." "We're rockin' and rollin,'"
  • Cummins Westport said thousands of the 12-liter engines will be sold this year.
  • DTNA: "by 2020, the heavy-duty natural-gas market share could range between 10% and 25%."
  • Peterbilt has 2,000 orders for natural gas trucks; 30% have specified the 12-liter engine.