Oregon-based Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NW Natural) and California-based Carnot Compression LLC have formed a consortium to build and test a new compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling unit.
The planned 2-GGE/hour prototype compressor will use Carnot’s proprietary isothermal micro-bubble compression technology, which utilizes the weight of a working liquid in a centrifugal (g-force) environment to compress natural gas. The project aims to validate system performance for Carnot’s patent-pending technology in a real-world setting.
The compressor will be designed to approach isothermal or constant temperature compression, and the companies expect it to cut the energy utilized for compression by 30% or more over conventional technology. Carnot will engineer, design and manufacture the prototype CNG refueling unit in collaboration with NW Natural and the consortium.
“We welcome additional consortium members from the natural gas pipeline and utility businesses, CNG/NGV industry, and other interested parties,” says Chris Galati, CNG program manager for NW Natural. He notes that Fortis BC has recently joined the consortium.
“The great thing about becoming a consortium member is that each participant can leverage their individual research, development and demonstration funds,” continues Galati. “This path could lower the infrastructure costs for vehicle refueling while increasing reliability, and that could drive greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel.”