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Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

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  • Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

    I recently saw a video (YouTube I think) whee a local tv news crew somewhere was doing a piece on a couple with a Civic GX and a PHILL.

    I noticed that a second gas meter had been put in to supply only the PHILL.

    Why was this done? Do gas utilities sometimes (always?) give a different rate for vehicle refueling as opposed to household use? Or is there a higher inlet pressure requirement for the PHILL? Is the 2nd meter always required?

    Thanks for any insight.

    Mike

  • #2
    Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

    It depends on the gas company and their tariffs. In California several of the gas companies have a CNG rate and a combined rate. The CNG rate is better than the combined rate but you have to pay for a second meter which can cost upward of $600 to install. The combined rate although not as good uses your existing meter and thus no installation. In addition you get the better rate for your entire house which in some cases can make the cost about the same as the CNG rate. If you can get the combined rate it's normally the better choice. You never want to use the standard rate since that will cost you big time.
    John

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    • #3
      Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

      Ah, thanks - that makes sense.

      Interestingly, last time I calculated the cost with a formula I made that takes the cost of electricity and gas and tells me what it would cost to make CNG, it came out to just under $1.00/ gas gallon equiv, so with those other rates it should be evn better. Definitely makes it even more appealing - thanks.

      MIke

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      • #4
        Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

        In addition to all the aforementined, when the Phill 1st came out, the gas companies required a 2nd meter to be installed in order for you to receive the special refueling rate for fuel pumped to the car. I think they were also trying to figure out how to collect road tax for the motor fuel. Fortunately, the 2nd meter requirement didn't last very long, but if you run into someone that got their car and Phill early on, they will most assuredly have a 2nd meter installed. Although still an option, no one really goes that route these days.
        Last edited by Curtis; 11-22-2007, 08:33 PM. Reason: typo
        [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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        • #5
          Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

          they may have to boost the press w/c for the added load.

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          • #6
            Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

            The pressure does not need to be boosted to accommodate the Phill.
            [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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            • #7
              Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

              I had the Fuelmaker dealer here in UT install a second meter for my outdoor system. It was only about $100 more for the meter, and is very useful for me to keep track of things like:

              * How much my fuel teenage son is bumming off dad in his old 98 GX
              * How many hours I have used / have left on the compressor head
              * Potentially how many GGE's I can claim for the 50 cent tax credit (32 cents net of road excise tax). I say potentially because my tax adviser is still working on how to best claim this for my corporation.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                I suspect that 2nd meter is for your own information and not being used for billing purposes, right?
                02 GX
                01 GX
                03 Crown Vic
                06 GX
                Home Fueler

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                • #9
                  Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                  The pressure doesn't need to be higher, but your existing line may not be big enough. If I start the pool heater, it can shut-off the refueler from low gas pressure. The same thing could happen with a water heater and/or gas dryer. I don't run the pool heater very much, so it's not a big problem for me.
                  02 GX
                  01 GX
                  03 Crown Vic
                  06 GX
                  Home Fueler

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                    This goes back to electric cars and the PUC. Because EV's were billed a preferred rate the PUC said that a second meter had to be used. Because of the high cost of installing a second electric panel a adapter was developed that would hold 2 meters. As for CNG the PUC said that because So. Cal. gas had an uncompressed rate so 2 meters. So. Cal. successfully lobbied the PUC to allow the combined rate. Quickly followed by PG&E and Southwest. After years of my poking and prodding Long Beach finally is allowing home refueling. Using 2 meters. the 2 reasons I was given was, 1 CNG is exempt from utility users tax. 2 no one will want one. I have a C3 waiting.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                      I installed a secondary gas meter right by the phill, since the appliance has no indication whatsoever of how much (if any) gas is being dispensed. It's a valuable diagnostic tool, if for no other reason, and it cost me all of $40 on eBay.

                      You can see my installation at http://www.holtekonline.net/NGV/PHILL.htm

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                        holtek's web page inspired me to install the 2nd meter. I also got mine on ebay.
                        Having the meter and waching it I found that I get more gge/h into the tank when it is empty. That means that I get more miles out of PHILL's 6000h life if I always fill up just above 1/2 full. For my commute of 100miles/day that is just fine.
                        On an almost empty tank the flow is about 1Therm per hour (about 0.8 gge).

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                          I have to revise the number, it is lower then posted. however it is definitely a higher gas flow at an empty tank then if the tank is almost full.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                            fuelmaker does advise to use it in the lower range of the tank to extend the life of the unit. makes sense the fuller the tank the higher the pressure the harder the unit has to work.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Why 2nd meter for PHILL?

                              In Arizona Southwest Gas, Unisource Energy and City of Mesa Gas Dept's are still installing 2nd meters on all residential FuelMaker installations.
                              It does make it easier for customers to monitor their fuel usage and for those who want to apply for the 50 cent per gallon Federal rebate for vehicles used for business, they have the 2nd line on their gas bill to verify their usage for the IRS. There is no combined program offered here, and the gas company does not charge for the installation but gets a monthly service charge for the use of a 2nd meter, which should be offset by the lower rate for natural gas used as a motor fuel below the residential gas rate.
                              As long as the gas comes from the meter location with a 2nd meter, the permiting authorities have not required re-sizing of the house gas system piping for the added load.
                              On some of our commercial projects they have thrown it in together with the regular gas system since the higher gas volume gets a preferred rate.
                              Dave Clement

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