iGAS overcomes CNG hurdles

By: Matt Wood


An Australian company has come up with an innovative way of overcoming some of the hurdles that are associated with using compressed natural gas (CNG) as a heavy vehicle fuel.

iGAS overcomes CNG hurdles
CNG usually requires large storage cylinders that take up a lot of chassis space on a prime mover. This makes it difficult to get enough gas on the vehicle for it to have a viable range.

IGAS, based in Staplyton in Queensland has developed a high-pressure direct injection CNG system and fuel storage module designed for heavy duty prime movers.

Traditionally CNG is not considered a viable fuel for heavy vehicles despite being inexpensive and abundant in Australia.

CNG usually requires large storage cylinders that take up a lot of chassis space on a prime mover. This makes it difficult to get enough gas on the vehicle for it to have a viable range.

By using Westport's existing 15-litre HD525 HPDI liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine as a starting point, iGAS has developed its own patented hydraulic pumping system and storage module which is purported to give an effective range of 1,000km.

CNG is usually cheaper than LNG as it does not require further processing and cooling to become a liquid, and doesn't dissipate when the vehicle is parked.

CNG also does not require protective clothing when refuelling as the fuel does not cause cold burns. Westport Innovations has granted iGAS OEM status, as has Western Star Trucks in Australia.

The company has two of its own CNG-powered Western Star 4800FX prime movers working full time in B-double and single trailer roles in south eastern Queensland for both Simon Transport and Chalmers with success to date.

iGAS is set to expand its own fleet of trucks as it continues to refine and develop its CNG system as well as further develop portable refuelling infra- structure.

American firm Carbon Cutter Transport LLC has already purchased an iGAS system to conduct trials on a prime mover that runs between Salt Lake City, Utah and the Port of Los Angeles.

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