Adsorbed Natural Gas Products (ANGP) and United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) have unveiled a full-scale mockup of UTRC’s conformable fuel tank for adsorbed natural gas (ANG) vehicles. UTRC and ANGP held the unveiling at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit.
The tank, which is the first of its kind, was showcased in the bed of ANGP’s ANG-powered Ford F-150 pickup. UTRC developed its unique tank concept under ARPA-E’s Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy program. ANGP holds an exclusive license to UTRC’s design for a conformable, non-metal composite tank containing activated carbon adsorbents at pressures up to 1,000 psi.
“ANGP’s fully integrated ANG system is truly a game-changer in the use of clean-burning, abundant natural gas as a transportation fuel. It combines lower operating pressures, a cost-effective high-capacity adsorbent, a groundbreaking conformable tank design and miniature rotary compressor technology in a total system solution,” says Bob Bonelli, co-founder and CEO of ANGP. “The lower pressure of ANG differentiates it from compressed natural gas (CNG) by allowing tank walls to be thinner and fuel dispensers to use smaller, less expensive compressors that consume far less energy.”
“UTRC began developing its conformable tank in 2012, creating prototypes for CNG applications that typically operate in the 3,200-3,600 psi pressure range,” says Dr. David Parekh, corporate vice president of research and director at UTRC. “As we looked for ways to commercialize this novel technology, we welcomed the opportunity to partner with ANGP as our exclusive licensee to bring our design to the U.S. market for low-pressure automotive applications. The flat tank mockup displayed at ARPA-E, which is only eight inches in height, fits nicely in the pickup bed. It can store 30 percent more natural gas than an array of conventional gas cylinders in the same space envelope.”
“ANGP will introduce the first fully integrated ANG system for natural gas vehicles to the U.S. market in 2016,” adds Bonelli. “Initially, our systems will use seamless aluminum cylinders made by Worthington Industries while the UTRC design undergoes development and certification to NGV-2 standards for release in 2017. The incorporation of UTRC’s conformable Type IV tank into the system paves the way for lightweight, space-saving storage solutions ultimately needed for a mass-market product.”