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Carnot Compression and NW Natural to test CNG refuelling unit

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Northwest Natural Gas Company (NW Natural), of Portland, Oregon and Carnot Compression LLC, based in Scotts Valley, California have formed a consortium to build and test an innovative CNG refuelling unit.

The planned 2 gal./hr prototype compressor will use Carnot’s proprietary isothermal micro-bubble compression technology, which utilises the weight of a working liquid in a centrifugal (g-force) environment to compress natural gas. The Carnot Compressor will be designed to approach isothermal or constant temperature compression and is projected to cut the energy utilised for compression by 30% or more over conventional technology.

Carnot will engineer, design and manufacture the prototype CNG refuelling unit (HRA/VRA range) in collaboration with NW Natural and the consortium. According to Carnot CEO, Todd Thompson, “Carnot’s system is designed to deliver dry and pure output gas, superior reliability, and scalability within a relatively small footprint.” The project will validate system performance for Carnot’s patent-pending technology in a real world setting.

“We welcome additional consortium members from the natural gas pipeline and utility businesses, CNG/NGV industry and other interested parties,” said Chris Galati, CNG Program Manager for NW Natural. He noted that Fortis BC has recently joined the consortium. “The great thing about becoming a consortium member is that each participant can leverage their individual research, development and demonstration funds.”

The consortium approach allows companies of varied sizes to take part in bringing a new technology to drive CNG refuelling infrastructure growth. Empirical data will be collected and verified by the University of Portland and George Fox universities under a separate grant.

Galati added, “This path could lower the infrastructure costs for vehicle refuelling while increasing reliability, and that could drive greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel.”

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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