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Old 12-30-2012, 09:38 PM   #43
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Neat video about natural gas over the road truck. I see this happening to new DP RV's from the factory. Looks like you could make up the intial cost difference and the torque, range and load capacity is the same.

Peterbilt LNG Trucks, Powered by Westport HD - YouTube
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:47 PM   #44
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How about Propane? Plenty of those around to fill up..
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:12 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Midniteoyl View Post
How about Propane? Plenty of those around to fill up..
The problem with LPG is that first it is a stripped product so there is a bit more "processing" before consumable = $$. The second issue is on cold days, Propane is stored in a liquid form and it has to "gas off" for consumption. On very cold days "gassing off" slows down and actually is probable to freeze up. With a well defined heater control system it could be made to work. RVs do typically have enough battery capacity to accommodate a system to do this.

There were a lot of public transportation conversions to LPG (propane) in the 80s, these vehicles had issues in the winter time. Our ability to control systems in vehicles has changed a lot since then.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:48 AM   #46
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Strange, but about 70% of the US propane is recovered from crude oil as it is refined and the price hasn't been affected nearly as much by the fracking revolution as natural gas.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:35 AM   #47
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You are almost correct, propane primarily comes from oil production, not oil refining. Oil reservoirs also contain natural gas, that is the current infrastructure. First level separation occurs long before the typical refining. The process of "stripping" LPGs is done in a very dry gas plant, there is no "crude oil" in these process trains. This is tied to oil production because the gas comes from the same fields.

LNG and LPG plants are now just starting to ramp up to take advantage of the shale gas reservoirs, as opposed to consuming Nat Gas in a gaseous state, which only requires pipeline, drying and distribution.

As with any large infrastructure, it takes time for systems to change. LPG is more BTU concentrated than LNG, however LNG is a very simple process and is more easily redistributed.

The biggest problem is that we (U.S.) are importing ~60% of our crude in the $100 BBL range and exporting our LNG in the $30 BBL equivalent range. Think about that for a minute. LNG only requires "Gas off" to become consumable, Crude at a minimum is two processes away from being consumable at its most efficient level and up to 8 processes depending on the product.

Its not that we need to or can walk away from crude, it is that we need to balance our consumption. Our slow move to Nat Gas is somewhere hung up between we (consumers) don't want to be inconvenienced, and our (politics) focus on green energy.

I don't oppose green energy, however if you take all the additional costs out of green energy, it still cannot supply our current requirements. We have a major change of life coming in the next 100 years.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:13 PM   #48
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My co-pilot asked me to read these threads and help clear up any misconceptions. I have been working in the LNG production and business conversion sector for over 5 years and Iím currently working for a company developing the infrastructure to support commercial LNG trucking. This post is fairly lengthy and I apologize itís hard to get all the information needed in a short post.
The main issue with any conversion is the cost of the conversion and if there is infrastructure to support use after the conversion.
LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is a bi-product of the oil refining process. As stated it stays as a liquid by maintaining a pressure in the cylinder (about 80 psig). It has issues in cold weather and with high use, it could either not off gas fast enough to provide fuel vapor or can even freeze. Installing an extremely oversized LPG tank will solve both problems. LPG filling locations are readily available across the US and the conversions have been done on consumer cars and trucks for many years. I first heard about it in the 70's.
CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) are the same product only at different temperatures and in different physical states. CNG is a vapor normally at 70 F. LNG is a liquid and is colder than minus 250F. LNG and CNG are sold on the vehicle market in DGE (Diesel Gallon Equivalent) or GGE (Gas Gallon Equivalent). This is done because the only true comparison is by BTU value. Both Gasoline and Diesel have a higher BTU per gallon value than Natural Gas. Gasoline 125,000 BTU per gal, Diesel 138,000 BTU per gal, LPG 91,000 BTU per gal and LNG 84,000 BTU per gal. CNG uses a GGE because it mainly competes against gasoline engines. This allows you to compare the same BTU value quantity of NG as is provided by a gallon of gasoline. The same is true for LNG except it uses DGE because it competes mainly against diesel engines.
In order to get any range in CNG vehicles you need to compress the NG to about 3500 psig. This requires a high pressure cylinder to be installed in your vehicle, plus modifying the fuel system to accept NG. The conversion for a regular car or truck is about $7000. Most conversions start and stop the engine on gasoline and switch to NG after the engine is warmed and has been running for a couple of minutes. This means you canít completely remove the gasoline tank or system and replace it with a 100% CNG system.
LNG is a little more complicated. Because the LNG must be stored at -250F you need a special tank for your vehicle. This tank could cost over $10K. And because of the BTU difference you will need about twice as much LNG as Diesel to go the same distance. Because there isnít a pure NG engine on the market you will have to modify your engine as well. Diesel engines use compression and heat to combust the fuel/air mixture and NG requires an ignition source the conversion isnít simple. You either have to use a blended mixture of NG and Diesel or do a major modification to remove glow plugs and install spark plugs. There are other modifications required to the engine as well. Both again you canít completely remove your diesel fuel system. Keeping the diesel system allows you to run on 100% diesel if LNG isnít available.
Availability of CNG and especially LNG is limited. Most major cities have mandated that buses and taxiís have cleaner emissions. Therefore, most have been running on CNG for a few years. But, if you donít have access to city fleet fueling station you wouldnít be able to fuel your vehicle. There are companies that use LNG to fuel their trucks. Those trucks travel a set route in the local area and come back to the company yard every night and are refueled for the next day. Several companies are starting to develop a CNG and LNG fueling infrastructure across the US and southern Canada. Major trucking routes will see these stations first, and then it will make it to most cities.
Cummins is producing a LNG 12L and 15L engine. I donít know when it will be available for the normal user. I do know they are not only looking to supply to the commercial trucking industry, but also to the recreational vehicle industry.
The cost of NG is 3 times higher overseas than in the USA. There are several news releases from the major Oil companies talking about NG. The USA has the most discovered NG reserves on the planet. Most companies getting into the NG market are looking to export cheap US NG overseas. It doesnít make sense to import expense NG to try to compete against cheap US NG.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:42 PM   #49
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WOW, what a great post. I am going to save it.

Thanks
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:58 PM   #50
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Sohapi,
To clear up a few things, NG is not a by product of producing oil. That is a misconception.

There are to day on the road pure CNG cars, the Honda Civic X has been sold in the US for 10 years and is a pure CNG powered car. There are pure conversions that do not keep the gasoline system in place.

Westport builds an engine that is a diesel replacement that is a CNG only engine.

The rest of your post is accurate. I have 25+ years on both sides of the energy business, I was trying to not get too deep into this. Hence my suggestions we first change commuter car fleets, and only new RVs would be able to be NG powered in the future. To convert an existing platform requires $$, to do it at the factory in place of diesel power is significantly less differential.

FWIW I have traveled the Gulf Coast almost exclusively on CNG the last 1.5 years.
Those interested in learning more should google CNGNOW.

Cheers and Happy New Year.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:08 PM   #51
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Is "LNG" the same thing as the O.P.'s "CNG"????
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:15 PM   #52
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LNG = liquefied natural gas, stored as a supercooled liquid

CNG = compressed natural gas, stored in gaseous form at high pressure

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:03 PM   #53
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Just for clarification of my orginal post. Propane and LPG are basically the same product. Don't confuse Propane or LPG with CNG, LNG or Natural Gas. They are completely different products.
There seem to be a lot of conversations about converting RV's to run on Natural Gas, whether that is LNG or CNG. What I wanted to make clear is that even if you have the means to convert your rig to LNG or CNG. The infrustructure to support running your rig on LNG or even CNG isn't inplace, but its coming.
The nice thing is Methane or Natural Gas is a renewable energy source. Yes, as we drill it out of the earth it is a fossile fuel, but Methane is a product of Landfills, Hog farms, Dairy farms, Feed lots and many other sources.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:25 AM   #54
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what do you consider 'to cold' for propane? I do know up north here that we use a different type than the south, which is mostly butane and doesn't do cold at all..
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #55
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Methane is a product of Landfills, Hog farms, Dairy farms, Feed lots and many other sources.
Don't forget Washington, DC. I was reading an article about the Masada (or maybe Honda) GNC vehicle and it said you could get a compressor to hook up to your home natural gas line that would fill the tank in about 6 hours or so. That would last about 250 miles.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #56
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Hello, I don't have a lot of experience with Propane aside from trying to run an emergency generator on propane. I was in charge of the project in Eastern NM and we had a 300 gallon propane tank supplying a 300KW emergency generator. During the winter when the temp's stayed below 32 F the propane wouldn't supply enough vapor to keep the generator running and the LPG in the tank froze into a solid mass. I use a propane heater in my rig and it worked will in SLC this last Nov. The ability to use propane is all dependent on the outside temp and the amount of vapor needed by whatever you are running. Sorry, I couldn't be more specific. A local Propane supplier should be able to give better information.




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what do you consider 'to cold' for propane? I do know up north here that we use a different type than the south, which is mostly butane and doesn't do cold at all..
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