Experts Discuss NGV Innovation and Challenges

| USA: Washington DC

USA_ANGI_154859_KTLaCrossefuelisland_websiteScott Foster, Director, Sustainable Energy Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe reports on the Innovations in Natural Gas Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure session held as part of WGC 2018 (conducted by the International Gas Union (IGU) and American Gas Association (AGA)). The session explored the drivers for innovation in NGVs and fueling infrastructure and examined what, if anything, could and should be done to encourage further innovations.

This Technical and Innovation Center session showcased technologies and applications related to the transportation market including NGVs, vehicles, fueling systems, rail marine, heavy duty, off-road and other applications.

Graham Barker, Regional Sales Manager with ANGI Energy Systems explored CNG fueling and how it could be achieved faster with greater capacity.  The key challenges that Mr. Barker addressed were that time waiting in queues to refuel for either retail or commercial were longer than fueling flows for conventional fuel, posing both logistical and cost challenges. Mr. Barker recommended development of  industry-wide standards based on both design, technology, and operations (e.g., higher pressures, standard nozzles, and operating practices such as first-in/first-out) to improve performance.  Mr. Barker also recommended standards in operations and technology to enable fuller loading (tank sizes, pressures, gas temperatures, and hosing components).

ANGI Energy Systems is a North American company that designs and manufactures systems for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fueling and tube trailer transport in applications around the world. ANGI is a member of NGVAmerica.

Veronique Bel, NGV Project Manager, GRDF and Estelle Courtier-Arnoux, Gas Market Analyst , GRDF, presented a macro view of the total cost of ownership considering a monetary valuation of the environmental, social & economic impacts of developing natural gas vehicles.  They complemented their presentation with a specific case study of France.  The conventional model for Total cost of Ownership (TCO) considers direct costs such as those for personnel, fuel, maintenance, and taxes (or incentives), whereas the proposed model embraces externalities such as climate change, air pollution, trade balances, and job creation.  Their analysis for France concluded that the overall benefits of pursuing natural gas vehicles in comparison with conventional fuels far outweigh other considerations.  Their recommendation was that other EU countries might consider assessing the benefits of natural gas vehicles using the TCO macro model.

GRDF is the main distributor of natural gas distribution network in France and a member of NGVA Europe.

Frederik Brandes, Technical Manager, DVGW – German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water, presented the hypothesis that the transition to a sustainable energy future will necessarily involve introducing carbon neutral fuels, specifically biogas or synthetic gas, into the natural gas grid.  His specific presentation on introducing hydrogen into the public gas grid explored the challenges for CNG transport.  Legal limitations on the amount of hydrogen permitted in the German natural gas network for power generation, underground gas storage, and compressed natural gas vehicles represent a constraint on the potential to “green” natural gas.  The technical solutions include modifications to tanks and filling stations alongside revisiting regulatory limits.

DVGW is an active member of IGU and member of NGVA Europe.

Petro Dumenko, Co-Founder & Technical Director, DiGas Ltd, presented a case study on economic and ecological effects of dual-fuel implementation for old diesel locomotives in the rail industry based on a case study from Latvia.  The benefits of introducing dual-fuel capabilities in locomotives include not only economic and technical performance, but also significant health benefits from reducing local pollution.

DiGas, based in Riga, Latvia, is state-of-the-art dual fuel technology company.

Mr. Foster moderated the WGC 208 session on Day 2.

Source: Scott Foster, Director, Sustainable Energy Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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