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  • #31
    Originally posted by danlb
    I've heard similar claims, but find them hard to believe. Most of the areas I live in already have natural gas piped to every single house and business. My heater, clothes dryer and water heater all run on it. It costs me $100 a month for that 'cheap, surplus fuel'.

    If it were really economical to build a NG infrastructure for cars, the companies that own the NG supplies would be funding it. Instead, they are pushing for the government to create the demand for them.
    Not to start an argument Dan, but for comparison my home (with heat sucking NG fireplace) has NG hot water, heat, and dryer. <2 hours to Chicago, and my bill reaches $100 maybe one month of the year despite keeping the house at 80F and regular use of the gas fireplace (her). The average bill in winter is ~$70, in summer its $30.

    As to the second part...which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    The necessary infrastructure is fueling stations. Fueling stations are typically franchises in most of this country, or otherwise privately owned. If a company owns a pipeline, why would they want to be involved in owning a fueling station? They dont know/understand/profit from that business directly. Yes its a byproduct, but not within the business model and involves a huge amount of risk and outside knowledge. The government provides incentives for private individuals/companies to open these stations bc without a CNG/LNG vehicle population to feed off of (as is the case in much of rural US), risking/spending millions of dollars on a station doesnt make sense. If you build it, they may come. But without the "it," no one will.

    Is it right for the government to spend everyone's money on these projects? Thats another subject, and I am torn on it. I was just explaining the logic behind it.
    Last edited by justanengineer; 03-07-2012, 05:03 PM.
    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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    • #32
      Originally posted by davidwdyer
      I would like to see the US Government invest in expanding the Natural Gas infrastructure to have it available in gas stations everywhere.
      That is not the job of government.

      Natural Gas is CHEAPER than gasoline. We proved here and had many happy users. It was fuel injection that stopped it's popularity. Now that manufacturers are making dual fuel vehicles, the market will demand filling stations.

      I am thinking I might buy a 'new' truck for the first time in 30 years. It is that much of a motivator!

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      • #33
        Originally posted by justanengineer
        Not to start an argument Dan, but for comparison my home (with heat sucking NG fireplace) has NG hot water, heat, and dryer. <2 hours to Chicago, and my bill reaches $100 maybe one month of the year despite keeping the house at 80F and regular use of the gas fireplace (her). The average bill in winter is ~$70, in summer its $30.
        No argument here. The point is exactly illustrated by the price differential. It's supply and demand.

        Right now there is more supply than needed. At some point the prices will rise quickly as enough demand is created one way or another.

        I wonder why I have a hard time finding residential NG compressors that will fill your car's tank from the same pipe that services your furnace. The few that I found run on electricity, not on NG.

        I would think that the compressor would use a NG fired engine to compress the gas instead of using electricity.

        Dan
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by danlb
          I would think that the compressor would use a NG fired engine to compress the gas instead of using electricity.

          Dan
          If you are REALLY smart, You get a cogeneration motor and heat your house while you refill your car! Now you might actualy get some savings...
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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          • #35
            I have one of those someday-projects to convert a van (RV) to propane. The research I did a few years back (more than I care to think about actually), said that the optimal compression ratio for propane was 14:1. I was thinking of building up a 12:1 Chevy V8 - figured that's would be a sweet spot for parts availability as it seems to be a target for the racing crowd. Any more would get stupid-expensive.

            Recently, I've read the big thing is to supplement diesel engines with propane. All the usual claims about huge performance/mileage benefits, lower maintenance, etc.. Some of it is likely true as there's at least a wee bit of logic to it. The propane is suppose to keep the diesel burning longer, and thus more completely. Never did figure out the logic behind those magnets on the fuel line

            As for the price. It spiked, then they started fracking. That worked very, very well and the price crashed. At least the wholesale price. I don't expect any consumers noticed that part though. They're getting big-time into fracking oil now. Some say North America could be self-sufficient in oil fairly soon. That would be interesting if it every happened.

            David...
            http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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            • #36
              Originally posted by knedvecki
              As for the LPG conversion, a Vacuum fuel lock-off is about $60, an Impco Cobra regulater about $120, and a Mixer in the $200-300 range plus a tank for the conversion. I work on forklifts which have hour-meters instead of odometers. A common engine used in this application is the GM 4.3L Vortec V-6. I figure that if you drive a car for 100 hours at 30 m.p.h., then you have gone 3000 miles. I have a lot of forklifts with well over 20,000 hours of run time on the motors, which would equate to 600,000 miles not accounting for idling time, without ever being taken apart for repairs. Seems pretty Good to me. Just my 2 cents.
              Here the tanks have some kind of lead casing to protect them in case of a crash. Hence they are VERY heavy. You have to reinforce the rear springs of the car. They also must be fastened directly to the car frame. Every year a car which runs on NG must pass an inspection.

              The result of all this is that, with the millions of cars running on NG, I have never heard of an accident in which the tank exploded or the gas figured significantly in the damage. That's really saying something, since I have never seen such spectacular accidents as here in Brazil.
              VitŮŽria, Brazil

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              • #37
                I see that GM is about to produce duel-fuel pickup trucks that will run on either CNG or gasoline at the push of a button and this has me thinking about something I have wondered about for a while. It would seem, to me anyway, that an internal combustion engine can not be designed simply to run efficiently on both types of fuel and that such engines would from a practical standpoint have to be compromised in efficiency for either or both types of fuel.
                exactly right.

                Propane is 105 octane, LNG 135. both burn 99% pure. if things were as they should be you should be able to build a 10.5 or 13.5:1 compression ratio engine with a shaggy camshaft.

                if things were as they should be... but state legislators are involved. The pharmacist from Podunk who got elected to the state legislature insists that the smog controls and the 8:1 compression remain, because them engineers in Detroit must know what they're doing, eh? so you have to keep the heat riser under the manifold which helps vaporise liquid gasoline in a vehicle that runs off a gas vapor. completely counterproductive in a liquified gas powered vehicle.

                the tanks must have hemispherical ends, and can have a round middle. so you can't whip up a big flat rectangle to fit into the available under vehicle space.

                I knew a gent in the Mojave desert who had 200 gallon propane tanks under his bus. It cost him less to drive it to Tijuana and fill it up than it cost him to drive a block to the local propane seller. $.38 a gallon there VS $1.38 a block away, and you got a Mexican vacation ( back when you could survive one ) too.
                Last edited by AD5MB; 03-08-2012, 09:49 AM.

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