Cenergy Solutions recently purchased an F-150 Supercab 4×4 with a 5.0-liter engine to convert to natural gas with its adsorbent natural gas (ANG) conversion system and conformable tank, aiming to prove the viability of a bi-fuel F-150.
According to Cenergy, the conformable tank is a Type 1, Department of Transportation-compliant, aluminum tank that is ASME-certified. With the working pressure set at 425 psi, the company says the tank was specifically designed to work with Cenergy’s ANG system and has two Cenergy Solutions ANG filters to keep the carbon inside the tank while letting the natural gas flow out on demand. The tank is also equipped with a Roterex temperature pressure-relief device (PRD) and an inline PRD from Swagelok.
Cenergy asserts that Blackstone LLC supplied the Fill Regulator that was engineered for ANG systems. The Fill Regulator allows drivers to fill up at a fast-fill station by restricting the fill pressure and turning off the dispenser at a pre-specified pressure. The ANG system is capable of being filled at a slow-fill, home-fill or fast-fill station. Blackstone will be adding a PRD to this system as a backup if the tank pressure exceeds a pre-determined psi.
A-1 Alternative Fuels from Fresno, Calif. – a Ford qualified vehicle manufacturer – installed the Cenergy bi-fuel ANG system and conformable tank. Cenergy asserts that the conversion system has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 115 different models, and it plans to receive EPA and California Air Resources Board approvals on this F-150 in the near future. The company says the conversion system is calibrated to run at 35 psi and works well with a low-pressure ANG tank.
The initial on-road tests of the 2016 ANG F-150 have been successful, according to Cenergy, adding that the F-150 was tested pulling a car trailer with a car. The conformable tank has been filled by a slow-fill compressor and at two public fast-fill stations in California, including a Trillium and a Clean Energy location. Cenergy says that the Blackstone Fill Regulator worked as designed, stopping the fill at 400 psi-420 psi, which is under the working pressure of the new aluminum ANG conformable tank.
The F-150 with the Cenergy Solutions bi-fuel ANG conversion system “runs the same on gasoline or adsorbent natural gas – even under load,” says Gary Fanger, chief technology officer of Cenergy. Under load and running on the ANG system, the vehicle ran the natural gas down to 65 psi in the tank. With further flow modifications, Cenergy believes the Ford truck will be able to operate under load down to 35 psi.
Overall, the company expects to demonstrate that low-pressure ANG systems can work in a slow-, home- and fast-fill setting and can be used on passenger bi-fuel hybrid vehicles and vehicles with larger engines and heavy payloads. Cenergy Solutions will publish the results of its ongoing testing of this vehicle on its website.