Q. What is true fast fill?
A. When compressed gas is being pumped into a cylinder, it naturally heats up. The
heat dissipates fast and easily in aluminium lined cylinders because aluminium is a natural heat conductor. Particular to a Dynetek cylinder, which is made from a thin walled aluminium liner, the heat dissipates even faster versus a thicker wall aluminium liner, thus resulting in fast fill of the cylinder.
The benefits of a fast fill is that the driver of a natural gas or fuel cell vehicle, spends less time at the fuel pump, and more time on the road.
Q. What does Dynetek manufacture?
A. Dynetek develops, manufactures and markets lightweight advanced fuel storage systems for compressed gases. Our customers include car, truck and bus OEMs, as well as industrial gas producers.
Q. Is Dynetek only serving the compressed hydrogen storage market?
A. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is the foundation of Dynetek's business. We are recognized internationally as a supplier of CNG storage system for vehicles, bulk gas transportation and stationary storage. CNG represents over 90% of our revenue base.
Q. Is driving around with cylinders fueled by compressed gas dangerous?
A. The DyneCell cylinders are manufactured and tested in compliance with strict regulations, and have withstood severe abuse testing under conditions far more stringent than tanks designed for storing gasoline. Compressed gas vehicles submitted to test crashes have been totally destroyed but show little or no damage to the compressed gas cylinder. Qualification tests push cylinders to temperatures and pressures, which demonstrate that compressed gas cylinders are durable and safe.
Q. What are the major benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel?
- On a gallon-equivalent basis, natural gas costs an average of 15% to 60% less than gasoline and diesel.
- Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that reduces vehicle maintenance. Many NGV owners report that oil changes are needed only every 16,000-32,000 km. Standard spark plugs last as long as 120,000 km.
- Natural gas, unlike liquid fuels, cannot be siphoned from a vehicle. Fuel theft is an on-going concern of fleet managers.
- Vehicles can be "fast filled" in five to six minutes using compressed gas stored in cascades of natural gas cylinders or fuelled overnight on a "timed fill" basis in about five to eight hours. Many private fleet fueling stations use a combination of fast fill and timed fill
Q. What is a bi-fuel vehicle?
A. A bi-fuel vehicle can run on either natural gas or gasoline. Many are designed to switch automatically to gasoline when the natural gas fuel tank reaches empty. These vehicles get the same or slightly fewer miles per equivalent gallon of natural gas, as do vehicles using gasoline only.
Q. What is a dual-fuel vehicle?
A. A vehicle that runs either on diesel fuel only, or diesel fuel and natural gas simultaneously. In a dual-fuel vehicle, the combustion of the diesel fuel serves to ignite the natural gas.
Q. What is a dedicated vehicle?
A. A dedicated NGV runs on natural gas only. Dedicated NGVs can be gasoline-fueled vehicles that have been converted to run on natural gas. Most dedicated NGVs, however, are produced by original equipment manufacturers such as Ford, American Honda and General Motors in the light-duty market and a host of truck and bus manufacturers in the medium and heavy-duty market.
Q. What dedicated NGVs are being manufactured now?
A. All major car, truck and bus manufacturers have built dedicated prototype NGVs. Many NGVs are directly available from the original equipment manufacturers.
Bus manufacturers like BlueBird and Orion Bus Industries sell buses designed to run on natural gas. Major diesel engine manufacturers, such as Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Mack and Deere Power Systems, are developing or producing heavy-duty natural gas engines for a wide variety of vehicular applications. Forty-two manufacturers produce more than ninety-three varieties of natural gas vehicles, engines and chassis, varying from light-duty passenger vehicles to school buses and forklifts.
Q. What happens to your cylinder in an accident?
A. A pressurized gas cylinder is probably the strongest component on the vehicle. In vehicles totally destroyed by collision, the only discernible component left intact is the cylinder. It is unlikely that cylinders will rupture due to collision impact.
It should be noted that natural gas is lighter than air and in the unlikely event of a leak from piping or container the gas will dissipate upwards quite quickly. In the case of petrol and LPG, the vapour given off is heavier than air and will tend to pool near the ground. This is where there is a strong risk of ignition.
Q. What are the safety issues with gaseous fuels?
A. First of all the safety regulations for all fuels - whether liquid or gaseous - will generally ensure that the risk of a fire under normal operating conditions is very small. As with most fuels, the main fire hazard comes from leakage - either during refuelling operations or during operations of the equipment, a vehicle crash etc.
In any of these situations three requirements are needed before there is the potential for a fire or an explosion. First, there must be leakage of fuel, second, mixing of fuel with air to create a mixture in the flammable range and third, a source of ignition. Most gases have an odorant added so that leakage can be detected by people in the vicinity.
Safety systems have been incorporated into the fuel storage system to provide safe operation of the vehicle. The hydrogen detection system consists of four hydrogen sensors: two in the trunk, one under the hood and another in the passenger compartment.
Hydrogen is safer than gasoline. It is lighter than air and escapes directly into the atmosphere, whereas gasoline pools on the ground.
Q. What infrastructure will have to be in place to make hydrogen fuelling a reality?
A. In addition to the hydrogen storage tanks, Dynetek has developed a Mobile Hydrogen Refueling System - providing Instant Infrastructure® - to support hydrogen-powered vehicles.