In recent years, the EPA has started clean energy initiatives that invest in energy efficient and renewable energy sources. With the many different types of fuel, consumers can be apprehensive about clean energy options. They want to know, what is CNG? How is it made? Is it safer than other options?
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is natural gas (primarily methane) and is kept at high pressure. Often a substitute for gasoline, diesel fuel or propane/LPG, scientists consider CNG safer than other forms of energy. This is because of its low density, as it helps avoid "pooling."
The photo to the right is an example of a CNG nozzle; the stainless-steel and brass body help prevent corrosion, while the insulated jacket provides an ergonomic design for the operator’s hand. In order for the nozzle to start fueling, the operator simply rotates the handle 180°, fastening the nozzle jaws to the receptacle. One simple motion confirms a secure connection and fueling begins, making this nozzle extremely user friendly.
After the fueling process is complete, the handle rotates and disconnects, stopping the flow of gas automatically. This valve contains an internal filter that collects gas-borne debris and if any tampering occurs, stops the dispensing process. This nozzle is ideal for private or public self-service fueling stations. However, as with any fueling equipment, always consult a certified distributor or manufacturer representative.
Breakaways are a vital part of any fueling station. An in-line breakaway attaches to the hose running from the dispensing unit to the CNG nozzle. The durable stainless steel makes it resistant to corrosion in harsh environments and is strong enough that it requires extreme forces to “break” apart. The purpose of a breakaway is to protect the island equipment and operator if a vehicle drives away from the fueling station while the nozzle is still connected to the vehicle. This is known as a “drive-away.” If a drive-away occurs, the two pieces disengage lessening the application force to the equipment. After disconnection, breakaways easily reconnect and allow operations to resume.
In the future, more CNG products will be showing up at fueling stations around the world, making more people familiar with, less apprehensive about and more aware of “clean energy." With the initiatives put in place to invest in renewable and energy efficient resources, one day the world might not remember life without CNG products.
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