A Maryland-based group is leaning on crowd-funding to help finance the development of a new roof-mounted case system for housing compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks on board light-duty vehicles.
Richard Wallace, an engineer who had been involved with the build-out of CNG refueling infrastructure in the Northeast in the early 1990s, envisions ‘a plastic 'case' into which three or four Type IV CNG tanks snap fit, like AA batteries into electric devices.’
‘Now conjure an image of that case – with tanks, valves and lines metal-strapped inside – popping down on the roof of a quickly-prepped SUV, like putting Legos together,’ Wallace's Kickstarter page reads.
The system that Wallace is aiming for would hold approximately 8 GGE of CNG in a case that weighs about 200 lbs. and extends no more than a foot beyond the vehicle's roof height. The case would be integrated specifically in bi-fuel CNG applications.
The state of Pennsylvania has accepted a grant application to support the project: specifically, designing and 3D-printing a single prototype case. If the grant is awarded, the state would cover $35,000 of the initiative, and the crowd-funding and other financing sources would cover the remaining half of the $70,000 project.
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