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  • Could cng be home delivered?

    I think we all agree that the lack of fueling stations is the key reason for the limited number of ngv's in the US.

    Is it technically possible to provide cng via a home delivery service? Has anyone tried anything like this?

    If it is technically possible, any ideas on the economics?

    Just curious....

  • #2
    Re: Could cng be home delivered?

    Compressed natural gas is not an easy fuel to deliver in small quantities.
    A good share of the US already have natural gas delivered to their house via pipeline.
    If you need it delivered it would be more economical to switch to propane rather than have to build a whole new delivery infrastructure as well.
    As soon as you have to truck any fuel, you lose a lot of the cost advantages.
    Dave Clement

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    • #3
      Re: Could cng be home delivered?

      I get CNG delivered to my car whenever I want via a Fuelmaker compressor and my local gas company. As much as I need, no delivery charge. In fact. the gas company gives me a lower rate on all my NG usage.
      02 GX
      01 GX
      03 Crown Vic
      06 GX
      Home Fueler

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Could cng be home delivered?

        Originally posted by freedml View Post
        I get CNG delivered to my car whenever I want via a Fuelmaker compressor and my local gas company. As much as I need, no delivery charge. In fact. the gas company gives me a lower rate on all my NG usage.
        Yes, I get it. You are willing to pay thousands of dollars for the convenience of home refueling.

        My question is whether others are willing to pay, say a few hundred dollars, to join a sort of co-op that would provide the same convenience. If you could get 100 people to pay $500 ea. that's 50K. Maybe you could also make some margin on the gas itself.

        After seeing cngas's post, I am just about convinced that mobile home delivery is just too expensive. But let's be honest, the convenience of a phill or fuelmaker does not come for free.

        Hey, we're all on the same side here. I'm just straining my brain (and an excel spreadsheet) to see if it's possible to make ngv's more attractive. Plus, I am a business guy and like the challenge of trying to make something out of nothing.

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        • #5
          Re: Could cng be home delivered?

          i home deliver cng for my gas grill but have propane delivered for the house, go figure. i get free cng for my grill at work lol

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          • #6
            Re: Could cng be home delivered?

            tomdotstar,

            If you're serious, here's a link to a bulk transfer system that should suffice. Lincoln's TITAN cylinder holds 8500 m3 and four of them fit nicely into an ISO container that can be dropped onto any HD tractor/trailer.

            http://www.lincolncomposites.com/42I...Mar06_RevA.pdf

            B/R,

            afvman

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            • #7
              Re: Could cng be home delivered?

              afvman,

              Thanks for the referral.

              I've checked out a bit of the Lincoln Composites website. Impressive operation.

              As I mentioned, I am sad to say that I don't think the economics work out, but my original idea was a delivery van environment. Maybe that's because I am old enough to remember milk delivery trucks.

              I am in Orange County California. I have a high density of vehicles and I am never more than 10 or 15 miles from a commercial fast fill refueling station. If a "transfer refueling van" could service 5-10 customers per fill up I think you would always be passing by a refueling station. So overall capacity is not that critical.

              Also, there are some other revenue angles. Maybe CLNE or Trillium would see this as a marketing benefit and might work out a good fuel price. Maybe Honda could sell a ton of GX's if they included an option for a year's worth of prepaid and pre-delivered fuel. (Are you listening, Curtis?)

              Plus, it seems to me that you could sell cng delivery services to businesses that run small fleets of 5-10 vehicles, but who don't want to make the capital investment in a fixed refueling station. For less than the price of gasoline, drivers could start with a fresh tank every day.

              But I am a complete technical novice. Is it possible to get a reasonably fast fill from a storage tank to a civic or crown vic? What kind of equipment would be required? How fast a fill could you get from one 3600 psi tank to another?

              Tell me the tanks and "refueling transfer system" will cost 100K and I will shut up!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                We already have a huge NG delivery infrastructure, via pipelines. It would be thoroughly UNeconomic, UNenvironmental, and less safe to start trucking it.

                The few thousands of capital cost for a compressor is peanuts compared to capital cost of a delivery truck, not to mention the per-delivery charges incurred for each load of CNG (whether 8 or 80 or 800 GGE, it's going to be significant). And just try to get the local fire marshall to let you install a bank of high pressure NG storage cylinders in your backyard.

                We have beaten the various operating costs of Phill and FM to death in other threads, but here's my thumbnail evaluation of the operating costs of each.

                If you're lucky and have no out of warranty failures, then gas pumped by a Phill will cost about the same as buying it at a public station (excluding subsidized states like UT and OK). CNG pumped by other Fuelmaker models (FM, FMQ series) will be significantly less because of greater reliability and lower servicing costs. You'll also get reliably high pressure and a fuller tank than is possible with 'fast fill.'

                Then, there were reports of people filling up at 5am to avoid low pressure at public dispensers. Public dispensers are sometimes unreliable, have oil and/or water in the gas, have low pressure, and are almost always inconvenient. Having your own compressor at home solves all of these problems for most of your driving.

                We own three CNG cars and having a pump at home is 'indispensible'
                02 GX
                01 GX
                03 Crown Vic
                06 GX
                Home Fueler

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                  Based on the "where do you get your fuel" survey, you are in the 22 percent of respondents who have a home compressor. I am interested in the 78 percent who don't. In fact, my guess is that the real number is more like 90% since only geeks like us respond to surveys like this.

                  Unenvironmental? Probably not since the miles traversed by individuals to get gas are probably equal to the miles a delivery van will travel.

                  Dangerous? Probably no more dangerous than driving a ngv to begin with. Maybe less dangerous, since refueling accidents are probably less likely.

                  Uneconomic. Well you probably have me here. But I am trying to get a handle on the real numbers.

                  One new item. I just looked at the language of the new stim package and I think I'd get a 30 per cent credit on my imaginary cng delivery van.

                  Still not probably not economic. But I will keep chipping away...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                    Unfortunately the bad news is unless you invest in a fast fill public station, you won't qualify for the credit, its already been taken by the station where you just filled up your delivery van.
                    You have to have retail fueling equipment and pay the road tax to the federal government before you would qualify for any incentives.
                    I'm not sure how you would get a weights and measures certified dispenser into a delivery truck also, I guess someone probably makes a small one.
                    Dave Clement

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                      My initial reading suggested that the credit would apply to the van and all the equipment installed on the van. My tax law days are behind me, but I'll look again...

                      http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/...roperty_credit

                      http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/...eling_property

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                      • #12
                        Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                        I think a lot of the reasoning for the low number of home refuelers are that the public stations are already convenient enough for most. I know, for me, in so cal, I have no problem using the public stations. The only reason to get a home refueler for me right now would be a slight cost savings, not really the per gge cost difference of public vs. home, but less gasoline use on our bi-fuel expedition. That being said, I definately believe that the home delivery model would be VERY expensive. You would have to either deliver fuel near daily to each customer (delivery costs would be extreme), or install storage tanks at the residence to last the customer a week or two, which would, themselves, be very expensive). Also realize, that if you are going to fill your truck from a public station, it will get to, at a MAXIMUM, 3600# (temp compensated). You could then fill the first vehicle to something less than that, then the next even lower, and so on. By the time your truck got 1/2 empty, you'd only be able to fill a vehicle to less than half full, and would REALLY need to refill your truck. Basically, you'd be carrying around a LOT of gas that will never be dispensed.

                        There are CNG fueling trucks out there, but they are used for rescue fueling of vehicles on the side of the road by CNG service companies serving large fleets. They only put in enough fuel to get the vehicles back home usually.
                        1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
                        2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                          Crazi

                          I started this thread to get us thinking about how we could get the general public interested in ngvs. It's not really directed at the cng chat group. To be honest, we are an unusual group. We're outliers, geeks, technocrazies, and evangelicals.

                          People on this chat board have found a way to solve the problem I want to get at people who won't buy a ngv because the problem seems too difficult or inconvenient to them.

                          Do you have any suggestions on how I could find out more about the rescue refueling trucks you've mentioned?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                            One more note. I don't know if it makes a difference, but Lincoln Composites makes storage tanks that you can put in a truck or van that are rated for 5000 and 10000 psi. I don't know the cost or how you could get those filled, but it's a thought.

                            The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that this is an unsolvable sales and marketing problem. Fuelmaker has demonstrated that some people will spend thousands for a home system, but I doubt that a sufficient number would spend hundreds for home delivery.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Could cng be home delivered?

                              I wrote up a reply last night bet my chumputer dumped it when posting. I love technology, occasionally.

                              The Phill is a commuters compressor and limited in size by the NFPA. (50scf/hr)

                              Creating a cooperative or consortium would be a way for a group of people to accomplish refueling at a lower cost. First organize the group, size determined by calculated end costs to the members. One member will need a commercial site as the NFPA won't allow storage of fuel at a residence except for the vehicle tank.

                              A Q-2 can be attached to a cascade storage system and fill say a 65gge cascade eventually. the Q-7p42 is designed for cascade tanks. A small system 1-Q-7 a cascade with fueling hose and construction would likely run in the $75,000 + range. Yep that is alot but keep in mind the 50% tax credit in the stimulus with a $50,000 cap. That sounds like a half price sale to me. Divide the resulting costs by 10 or 20 members and that cost is $2-4,000 per member.

                              With all that why not just talk to a local service shop/gas station and offer an investment from a goup that will show the need for his investment an assure enough initial gge volume to justify it. If you are good at talking the city, county, a taxi company, or a fleet or two into going with NGVs he will see the incentives. Plus he will get the $0.50/gge subsidy. You get what you want and less headaches.

                              If you want it at home the Phill is yoour only option as NFPA won't allow storage at residences and the fire mashall goes by the NFPA.

                              You would never even be allowed to park a tanker vehicle at home without a permit...which you will never get (permit). And you would need a license to sell the fuel.

                              Anyway a small system would fuel 8-10 vehicles a day so quite a few people could get involved and could be expanded easily when needed.

                              Talk to a station, create the interest, talk to NGV people and vote with your wallet. Otherwise it won't happen.

                              If you need fuel at home the Phill or the Q-2 are the only real options.

                              BTW it kicked out again but I copied the post to stay ahead of the chumputer.

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