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Author Topic: DD 2 stroke on CNG?  (Read 4889 times)
lostagain
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« on: April 24, 2011, 04:27:35 PM »

Reading the thread about WVO made me think of this: how about running on Compressed Natural Gas, or Propane. Could a 2 stroke DD be converted to run on gas? Would it need spark plugs? I have seen several articles about CNG being plentiful and cheap for the forseable future, (40% of the cost of diesel). You see news about diesel fleets being converted to gas. Does anyone on this board know anything about this? Would this be doable? It sure would be cleaner to handle, and easier than grease...

JC
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JC
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 04:52:38 PM »

This is going to be one of those lame stories...... BUT I know a guy, who knows a guy (and I have actually met him once and did see his bus so I got a little bit of personalization there) who is converting a blue bird transit. I have absolutely no idea what he did or how he did it, but this guy did seem to know his stuff and was in the process of doing it
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 06:04:17 PM »

If I recall correctly, according to Buswarrior a lot of transit operations have gone away from CNG.  I believe he said the engines are wearing prematurely.  I know that the Series 60 has a special version for natural gas.  I have no idea if a diesel could be converted as I have never researched the issue.

I would would think the cost of conversion could buy a LOT of diesel.  CNG requires very heavy cylinders to contain the gas and the same quantity of CNG has a lot less BTUs than diesel.

I worked at an operation that had converted some old gasoline vehicles to CNG.  Each vehicle had at least 6 CNG cylinders yet they had to be fueled twice a day.  When they ran on gasoline they had to be fueled only once a day.  The CNG cylinders added a LOT of weight.  They had to add weight to the front of some of teh vehicles so they wouldn't do a wheelie.  (They were old airport tugs.)
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 08:13:16 PM »

There is a system out there that "ADDS" LNG to the engine intake air.  On a hard pull you can switch on the LNG and get a richer mix and more power.  My scientific calculator says that any, and I mean ANY, power that you get from a 1/2 price fuel will save you money.  That doesn't mean that you are running on straight Dino.  I don't know about that but the Mfr of the augmentation system should have data.  If you run a DD on LNG you will have some pretty large tanks and draw attention but a little o'le 50 gallon tank shouldn't draw all that much notice.   A water spray injection system will certainly yield returns, especially in the hot desert, except in very cold/freezing temps.

Lets seen now:  D fuel, LNG/propane injectors, water injection, blended motor oil, WVO and whatever BioD you can spill in there and we have a "Multi Fuel Engine".  I want DETAILS when you get that put together.  And that's no joke.

John
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 08:26:25 PM »

Natural Gas is VERY expensive proposition.  The only certified 100% Natural Gas is the Cummins ISL rated at 320hp and 1000lb/ft torque.  They take the Diesel (while in production) modify the heads to accept the spark plug (instead of the fuel injector) and put deep dish pistons in to lower the compression ratio to about 13:1.  Then special fuel injection is added along with a catalytic converter, and there's the engine.  And that's not the expensive part.  If you run LNG (Liquified natural gas-of which it is hard to find) the 85gal Diesel equivelent fuel tank will cost $24,000.00-and you should run two to get any kind of range.  If you run CNG (compressed natural gas-of which there are alot more stations) each 7ft long cylinder holds about 17gal of Diesel equivelent of which each tank costs $8,500.00.  So to get the same 130gal that you run on your bus you'd have to have round figures 8 tanks that cost $68,000.00!  Then there is the only 15,000 mile oil change (compared to the 50,000 mile oil changes of the new clean Diesels), and replacing the spark plugs every 45,000 miles (at $65.00 apiece X 6).

To answer your question about whether 2 strokes can be run on natural gas-yes-but it would be dual fuel.  The normal Diesel injectors would provide 100% Diesel fired idle, then the engine accelerates on natural gas.  The natural gas injectors are typically drilled into the cylinder inspection plates.

With the current Diesel engines that run DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) are so clean they are about 200 times cleaner then a 1988 engine.  In my opinion, just not worth running natural gas.  Plus it isn't as clean as everyone seems to think.  If it was so clean, then why don't they run inside fork lifts on it-because natural gas produced a tremendous amount of carbon monoxide of which it would kill everyone in the warehouse where the fork lift was running.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 08:34:22 PM »

Very interesting TomC, thank you.

So are the CNG, LNG converted fleets government funded?

JC
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 10:04:25 PM »

I'd be looking into systems like Technocarb's 'EcoDiesel'.  Instead of a pure conversion to CNG or LPG they run a combination of 80/20 LPG to diesel. 

This means that you don't have the cost of a full gaseous conversion, which can run as high as $30k to $50k, but you don't get completely away from diesel, either.

What I like about this system is that it's a supplemental system: if you run out of propane or the system malfunctions, you just revert to straight diesel operation. So far, the technocarb system is the only one I've priced out, and the kit (uninstalled) runs about $2500 without the liquid draw tank, fill valve, or primary supply lines.

What makes this type of system less expensive than a full conversion to gas is that the system still uses diesel. This lets you combust the propane without having to replace the head(s). The diesel is injected at the end of the compression stroke and it provides the burn to combust everything thoroughly. That's the propaganda, at least.

I'm thinking that even with $500-$600 for a tank plus whatever the fill valve and primary lines are going to cost, it would still be worth it to me to not have the headache of a WVO or Bio-D system installed, especially given the cost and availability of propane.
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011, 11:35:13 PM »

TomC, thanks for the definitive cost breakdown on this.

I can only imagine that the elected officials never look nor much care about the billions thrown at "green" public transportation using CNG. Atlantic City has a full new fleet of CNG vehicles and that city is losing more dollar$ that its casino patrons.

I do believe that lubrication might be an associated problem going CNG.

I do love the innovation and new engineering, but this is not there yet. Kinda the reason why I like and hate NASCAR, all cars are nearly the exact same.

Sorry for the slight hijack.
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 07:48:22 AM »

Running a dual fuel engine-using Diesel as the spark plug-and then using natural gas or propane as the accelerator-has been used for many years.  Many sewage processing plants use the register gas to power the engines.  Sort of an interesting method.  The sewage processing plants have huge enclosed tanks that the solids are pumped into.  Then the hot water from the engine heat exchanger is used along with pressure to bring the tank up to about 5psi and 140 degrees.  This breaks down the solids in a matter of hours (instead of days in an open tank) and the releasing methane gas is pumped back to run the engines.  They typically run the engines on 90% methane and 10% Diesel.

Setting up a dual fuel engine is relatively cheap.  I would use Propane since it is an easy fuel to store.  Liquified Natural Gas is at about 230 degrees below zero.  Even though the stainless tank is double wall insulated, the LNG inside the tank is constantly boiling. When the pressure inside the tank gets up to 150psi, it vents to the outside until the pressure comes down. On any LNG bus or truck you'll see a small exhaust stack-that's for venting the tank to the atmosphere (and of course there isn't any regulations on venting raw natural gas-and doesn't that constitute a smog adding component?).  So when any vehicle sits-it is always venting.  I delivered 21 LNG trucks to a customer.  I filled every truck up.  By the time they finished taking delivery of the trucks-it was 3 weeks later-and some of those had to be refilled.  So LNG for us wouldn't work.

For dual fuel, as said propane will be the cheapest way.  You can use CNG and it doesn't bleed out normally (if it gets above about 3,800psi in the tank, it will bleed off also).  Anyway you go, using a gaseous fuel will be expensive.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 12:19:57 PM »

There's a reason that large ships and diesel locomotives don't run on compressed gasses.  CNG/LPG don't have the BTU's (energy) that #2 Diesel or Unleaded gasoline has...  If it was really more efficient, everyone would have already been driving LPG/CNG cars trucks for decades.  Just think, the first cars ran on peanut oil, but they switched to petroleum because it was cheaper and didn't require as much land to cultivate peanut crops (kind of makes you take pause and think how stupid we've become as a public for going to corn ethanol... I guess the eco-nuts like to disregard inconvenient history for their story line :'( ).

Following BTU values are sourced from here.  I have normalized these values to BTU/Gallon, using the Cu-Ft to gallon conversion: 1 Cu Foot = 7.48051948 US gallons (sourced from Google Calculator)

#2 Diesel = 138,500 BTU/Gal
89 Unleaded = 125,000 BTU/Gal
NG = 137 BTU/Gal (un-compressed)
Propane = 334 BTU/Gal (uncompressed, unrefrigerated)

The reason I normalized this is so that you can see how stacked the numbers are against this by sheer volume - yes, you can compress natural gas or propane, but that requires more expense and equipment at the delivery, storage, and consumption points (two things engineers are always trying to avoid).  Then think for yourself, how many times you’ve been out on the highway and seen a motorhome that is filling up with LPG or CNG – I have never.  Where would you get fuel?  Those 5-Gallon tanks for BBQ’s are not enough to go a mile…

...I can only imagine that the elected officials never look nor much care about the billions thrown at "green" public transportation using CNG. Atlantic City has a full new fleet of CNG vehicles and that city is losing more dollar$ that its casino patrons...

I agree with your statement, and this is a personal point of fury of mine – I live in California, and out here we have the “environmentalists” screaming that we need to shut down our two nuclear power plants and start building solar and wind power farms (a knee-jerk reaction to the Fukashima disaster playing out now in Japan).  Yes we have solar technology, but to date the most efficient panel is about 19.5% efficient at converting sun energy into electrical energy – compare that to a 35% efficient diesel engine directly attached to an 85% efficient alternator = 29.75%...  Still a 34% lead today, using state of the art solar technology.

As a practical matter (and opined from an Eagle Scout who has done his share of conservation), it seems really stupid to install a 100 Acre solar farm in delicate Mohave Desert habitat (where life barely clings on the threads of the resources available, and a little damage can devastate an ecosystem) – when we have about 29 billion acres of paved roads (just in California!!!) already that could be shaded by solar panels to keep the asphalt from heating the ambient air and would reduce the shaded vehicles’ air conditioning loads…  Doing that would also prevent carving service roads to the new solar plants because - duh, the roads are where ever the panels are that way… Smiley.  Another peave - if a person in California is going to buy an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, or Tesla-S or Roadster, it shoud be mandated by law that they cover their house in Solar panels to offset the load to the power grid as part of the cost of vehicle purchase.

I too apologize for the minor hijack…  Of course the same statement of “do it your way” applies, but it is my personal opinion that however well intentioned your idea may be, you are probably actually setting yourself up for a disaster…

-Tim
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 09:04:43 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 01:24:44 PM »

hey, I'm not a fan of hybrid gas electric for similar reasons. Suzuki was making the sprint/metro back before 2000 and it got 40+ mpg without funky electronics or gee-whiz superbatteries that are non-recyclable hazardous waste when they die. They didn't cost better than $40K, either. The average barely-employed burger-flipper could buy one new for less than $7000.

No, my curiosity about the propane system for non electronic diesels boils down to "will it make the vehicle less expensive to operate, or will it take forever to see an ROI on the installation and maintenance of the system?"

If I really had the money to go all out, I'd look in to a locomotive-style diesel/electric conversion, but I'd probably have to drive it 500,000 miles a year for the next 200 years to pay for the conversion... Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 08:50:25 PM »

...No, my curiosity about the propane system for non electronic diesels boils down to "will it make the vehicle less expensive to operate, or will it take forever to see an ROI on the installation and maintenance of the system?"...

Not likely to see an ROI, much like our Bus-to-RV conversions, you will likely never see that money again Wink.

I concur on the milage thing...  My mother has a 2nd gen Prius, and I have a 1993 Toyota Pickup.  We get the same milage (~33MPG, tank averaged)...

-Tim
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 09:01:13 PM »

...No, my curiosity about the propane system for non electronic diesels boils down to "will it make the vehicle less expensive to operate, or will it take forever to see an ROI on the installation and maintenance of the system?"...

Not likely to see an ROI, much like our Bus-to-RV conversions, you will likely never see that money again Wink.

I concur on the milage thing...  My mother has a 2nd gen Prius, and I have a 1993 Toyota Pickup.  We get the same milage (~33MPG, tank averaged)...

-Tim

My take on it is that we are building for our own personal pleasure and for the future generation. WE wont see ROI but in later years our grandkids will be able to sell these strong beasts that will out survive us. So it is kinda like an inheritance thing to the next couple of generations.....
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 09:17:15 PM »

There's a reason that large ships and diesel locomotives don't run on compressed gasses. 

I think the issue with long term storage and "bleed off" is more to the point with trans ocean voyages and even inter city transit that sits over night.  In Eugene they are going with MORE LNG buses.  I wonder that the pressure release gas can't be trapped for reclassification.  I will call them tomorrow.

 CNG/LPG don't have the BTU's (energy) that #2 Diesel or Unleaded gasoline has...  If it was really more efficient, everyone would have already been driving LPG/CNG cars trucks for decades. 

The factors driving those decisions are not the logic of conservation or pollution.  As it always has been it is economic....bottom line, as some are fond of quoting.  The oil companies now own the body politic.  We use what profits them most.  They are moving into COAL now and are headed into GAS as well.  Today you hear more about "clean coal" so, in-spite of that being an oxymoronic concept I suspect more coal fired elect plants are on the horizon.  Gas makes so much more sense and wind and solar even more so.  


 Just think, the first cars ran on peanut oil, but they switched to petroleum because it was cheaper and didn't require as much land to cultivate peanut crops (kind of makes you take pause and think how stupid we've become as a public for going to corn ethanol... I guess the eco-nuts like to disregard inconvenient history for their story line :'( ).

There were no "eco Nuts at that point in history.  And I resemble/resent that categorization.  Huh Grin  The ethanol movement was trounced by every "eco Nut" with any street creds that I ever heard of.  None liked it.  It was ADM and the American Farmer's Lobbyists that sold that and Bob Dole was at the head of the list.....corn, remember?  Kansas. I thin k you are bashing the wrong group
 

Following BTU values are sourced from here.  I have normalized these values to BTU/Gallon, using the Cu-Ft to gallon conversion: 1 Cu Foot = 7.48051948 US gallons (sourced from Google Calculator)

#2 Diesel = 138,500 BTU/Gal
89 Unleaded = 125,000 BTU/Gal
NG = 137 BTU/Gal (un-compressed)
Propane = 334 BTU/Gal (uncompressed, unrefrigerated)

This is not accurate comparison.  gallons to cubic feet.  Doesn't it feel a little "funny" that propane has 1/3 the energy as propane?  Can that be correct?  40%  ...  less than half?


The reason I normalized this is so that you can see how stacked the numbers are against this by sheer volume - yes, you can compress natural gas or propane, but that requires more expense and equipment at the delivery, storage, and consumption points (two things engineers are always trying to avoid).  Then think for yourself, how many times you’ve been out on the highway and seen a motorhome that is filling up with LPG or CNG – I have never.  Where would you get fuel? 

Those 5-Gallon tanks for BBQ’s are not enough to go a mile…

I think that isn't correct.  Were your numbers actually "normalized" that would be apparent at a glance.  We buy those gases by the "gallon" not cubic foot and how many cubic feet it takes to make a gallon at a given temp is only arguable by and engineer.  I ain't try'n to be picky here with you.  Its your point...make it...please.

...I can only imagine that the elected officials never look nor much care about the billions thrown at "green" public transportation using CNG. Atlantic City has a full new fleet of CNG vehicles and that city is losing more dollar$ that its casino patrons...


I agree with your statement, and this is a personal point of fury of mine – I live in California, and out here we have the “environmentalists” screaming that we need to shut down our two nuclear power plants

San Onofre is but smack dab in the center of a major fault line.  I can only assume that somebody really influential owned the property.  When it was built it was sorta in the cenyer of a mostly uninhabited area that was clearly going to annexed by LA in 10 or 20 years.  Just imagine....a "nucular" (thanks, W) power IN La.  The mind boggles.  Hey, what could go wrong?  After all, SDG&E got a huge rate increase to build SO and the thing never made a KW for many years after it was finished and SDG&E just a kept on keep'n on with the rate hikes.  Funny thing is that when it opened the rates were hiked again.  That outfit bought an entire tanker full of HIGH sulphur oil that had been illegal to burn in that state for many years.  They sold that tyanker for half what they paid for it and world prices had gone up in the interim.  They went to the state and asked for a rate hike to cover the loss and you'll never guess what happened....they got the hike plus.  Thanks Gov Reagan/Wilson.  Now you gotta have seen the next one coming....The pres/CEO of SDG&E got a 1 million bonus and he deserved that money cause he worked hard to get that income for SDG&E and their most profitable year to that date should not go uncompensated nor un-noticed by Ken Lay....and up and comer at that time.  Don;t get me started.

Now it only seems logical that everybody start talk'n bout them durned infernal puke environmentalists that don't unnerstan God's will and the Corp. bottom line.  Yeah..Whitewater, blue dress, dope smugglar and MONICA. You bet. Tongue Roll Eyes Angry Angry Angry

 and start building solar and wind power farms (a knee-jerk reaction to the Fukashima disaster playing out now in Japan).  Yes we have solar technology, but to date the most efficient panel is about 19.5% efficient at converting sun energy into electrical energy – compare that to a 35% efficient diesel engine directly attached to an 85% efficient alternator = 29.75%...  Still a 10% lead today, using state of the art solar technology.

The point is that no matter how inefficient those wind turbines are there are groups buying them and selling the trons back to the power grid and making a profit.  You should be dancing on air that somebody is making money off of your dependance on tron power. You guys always make it sound like wind Power was owned by the Gummint and the Gummint was getting rich off of the tax payer.  Remember,,,The corp bottom line is driving that thang.  All of it.

As a practical matter (and opined from  an Eagle Scout who has done his share of conservation), it seems really stupid to install a 100 Acre solar farm in delicate Mohave Desert habitat (where life barely clings on the threads of the resources available, and a little damage can devastate an ecosystem) – when we have about 29 billion acres of paved roads (just in California!!!) already that could be shaded by solar panels to keep the asphalt from heating the ambient air and would reduce the shaded vehicles’ air conditioning loads…  Doing that would also prevent carving service roads to the new solar plants because - duh, the roads are where ever the panels are that way… Smiley

God bless you my Brother.  And I will go you one further: that tricity could be used to power the vehicles that are using that road.  Steel tires, read rail road, are so much more efficient at rolling with a burden.  What  say we put in high speed monorail suspended and powered by solar.  Holy crapo Leroy, you are one of them Commie, Lefty, Pinko,  Conservationist,  PC, dare I say it....LIBRAL. Blue Dress, Rose Law, futures....  THAT WOULD NEVER WORK IN T H I S COUNTRY!!!!

 Another peave - if a person in California is going to buy an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, or Tesla-S or Roadster, it shoud be mandated by law that they cover their house in Solar panels to offset the load to the power grid as part of the cost of vehicle purchase.

With all the blame that could be justifiably spread around among all those bottom dwellers you have set your imagination to finding cause and clause to punish those that have put their money where their mouth is and done something to resolve a terrible situation.  You are to be commended for the audacity to "LET NO GOOD DEED GO UNPUNISHED"... publicly.  And just what do we do with all that evidence that proves that elect power generated at a power plant is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the power generated by a gasoline engine to transport the same load the same distance?  So let me see if I got this straight....we are going to punish those that are more frugal and use less and pollute less?  Sorry, Charlie, already been done....SDG&E got a rate hike cause the rate hike they got to invest in homes to make them more efficient worked so well they lost revenue on reduced sales so to maintain profits they had to charge more per kilowatt.  You can't make this up.  SDG&E had the highest rates and cost per household in the country and the rate payers used less power than any other district of the USA.  Time for another $1M bonus.  I wonder if that is sufficient in this age as my numbers are at least 10 years old.  What do you say... 10M or maybe 20 million dollars?  We can cover it with reduced pay for those lazy Cival Servant tearchers that are living of the fat of us hard working people.  Lets cut taxes while we are in there with a knife.


I too apologize for the minor hijack…  Of course the same statement of “do it your way” applies, but it is my personal opinion that however well intentioned your idea may be, you are probably actually setting yourself up for a disaster…

-Tim


I am not going to apologize for the hijack of the thread as I am following your hi Jack pretty closely.  Actually, I think I deserve kudos for making you look so good.  Not to mention the being ignored by another 10 "Corp Patriots".

Ever cheerfull and heart warming,

John
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 09:31:15 PM »

This is a hijack, sorry - my last word on this, as i have already said my piece and stated my position on the thread topic...

...My take on it is that we are building for our own personal pleasure and for the future generation. WE wont see ROI but in later years our grandkids will be able to sell these strong beasts that will out survive us. So it is kinda like an inheritance thing to the next couple of generations...

I respect your position - I offer an alternative train of thought: Why not use the most efficient means of generating energy now and less of it, while researching an equivalent efficiency/energy power source?  Aren't we doing more damage to the entire ecosystem by taking vast sums of land to install inefficient hardware (which by the way is constructed using higher-impact energy sources)?  They still don't know how to recycle old solar cells efficiently, and they only have a 20-year operating life, meaning that you aren't getting "a couple of generations" out of it, you're merely dumping the problem on the next generation right about the time they start going to college.

To the topic of this thread, the "investment" in a CNG conversion will require the manufacture of high pressure tanks (high energy input process, most power for that comes from coal, or natural gas combustion power plants), and high capital expenditure for the user.  Then, you are still burning a non-replenishable fuel which has a high delivery impact (i.e. is still has to be transported from where it came), plus as previously mentioned in the thread, the maintenance cycles go from 50K-miles down to 15K-miles, meaning you will be using 3x as much as much lubrication oil in the operation of the engine...  It's trading one evil for the same evil, and probably more of it...

Like electric cars, the batteries aren't mined and built in the U.S. - that all comes from somewhere else and is bult somewhere else, then installed into the car in a third plac (with the transporation each time done by "dirty" energy sources). You have to think of the total cost and implementation of a "solution" to say that it is a better solution.  Like you can't say that an electric car is better than a gas car if the electric power plant runs on dead babies (ok, bad dead baby joke).  A great catch-22 with clean energy I like to reference is the eco-people screaming that they want more wind-power, standing across the street from the other eco-people saying they want less wind power since the windmills kill endangered birds.  Or the people who say they want a more efficient power grid, but then turn around and fight the installation of SmartMeters that are the gateway to that more efficient system...

-Tim
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 10:06:32 PM »

This one's messy... Look for the "[T.S]...[/T.S]" sections for my reply.  For those reading who might be concerned, JohnEd and I have exchanged friendly/civil debate before - this isn't a beat down Wink.  It could be blathering though...

There's a reason that large ships and diesel locomotives don't run on compressed gasses.

I think the issue with long term storage and "bleed off" is more to the point with trans ocean voyages and even inter city transit that sits over night.  In Eugene they are going with MORE LNG buses.  I wonder that the pressure release gas can't be trapped for reclassification.  I will call them tomorrow.

[T.S.]I'm guessing that there is a federal grant that would allow more money to buy busses if they are "clean powered".  Most large transit agencies are getting busses only when there is a federal grant (incidentally, I got my bus from Lane Transit District in Eugene when they had just received a grant to buy a refresh of 20 busses)[/T.S.]

 CNG/LPG don't have the BTU's (energy) that #2 Diesel or Unleaded gasoline has...  If it was really more efficient, everyone would have already been driving LPG/CNG cars trucks for decades.

The factors driving those decisions are not the logic of conservation or pollution.  As it always has been it is economic....bottom line, as some are fond of quoting.  The oil companies now own the body politic.  We use what profits them most.  They are moving into COAL now and are headed into GAS as well.  Today you hear more about "clean coal" so, in-spite of that being an oxymoronic concept I suspect more coal fired elect plants are on the horizon.  Gas makes so much more sense and wind and solar even more so.  


 Just think, the first cars ran on peanut oil, but they switched to petroleum because it was cheaper and didn't require as much land to cultivate peanut crops (kind of makes you take pause and think how stupid we've become as a public for going to corn ethanol... I guess the eco-nuts like to disregard inconvenient history for their story line :'( ).
There were no "eco Nuts at that point in history.  And I resemble/resent that categorization.  Huh Grin  The ethanol movement was trounced by every "eco Nut" with any street creds that I ever heard of.  None liked it.  It was ADM and the American Farmer's Lobbyists that sold that and Bob Dole was at the head of the list.....corn, remember?  Kansas. I thin k you are bashing the wrong group

[T.S.]I didn't say the eco-nuts were responsible for the move to corn ethanol - I was merely pointing to "the consumer's" ignorance of history to find reasons why it is a bad idea, the only reason it's being made now is because some twit will buy it (hey I've got some ocean front property in Utah!!).[/T.S.]

Following BTU values are sourced from here.  I have normalized these values to BTU/Gallon, using the Cu-Ft to gallon conversion: 1 Cu Foot = 7.48051948 US gallons (sourced from Google Calculator)

#2 Diesel = 138,500 BTU/Gal
89 Unleaded = 125,000 BTU/Gal
NG = 137 BTU/Gal (un-compressed)
Propane = 334 BTU/Gal (uncompressed, unrefrigerated)

This is not accurate comparison.  gallons to cubic feet.  Doesn't it feel a little "funny" that propane has 1/3 the energy as propane?  Can that be correct?  40%  ...  less than half?

[T.S.]I don't get your point here.  A Gallon at ambient pressue is what the number I mentioned was referring to.  To get the equivalent BTU as a gallon of diesel, you have to put 1000 "Gallons" of Natural Gas (NG is primarily methane/ethane BTW, not propane) into the volume of 1-gallon... meaning a gallon at 1,000PSIG (I admit this is a gross oversimplification, but is done so for the clarity of the concept that "it can be compressed by a measured ammount"), will have roughly the same BTU content as a gallon of #2 Diesel (this of course does not in any way relate to the efficiency of combustion in the prime mover - nor does it indicate that all 1000PSIG of gas can actually be used)[/T.S.]


The reason I normalized this is so that you can see how stacked the numbers are against this by sheer volume - yes, you can compress natural gas or propane, but that requires more expense and equipment at the delivery, storage, and consumption points (two things engineers are always trying to avoid).  Then think for yourself, how many times you’ve been out on the highway and seen a motorhome that is filling up with LPG or CNG – I have never.  Where would you get fuel?  

Those 5-Gallon tanks for BBQ’s are not enough to go a mile…

I think that isn't correct.  Were your numbers actually "normalized" that would be apparent at a glance.  We buy those gases by the "gallon" not cubic foot and how many cubic feet it takes to make a gallon at a given temp is only arguable by and engineer.  I ain't try'n to be picky here with you.  Its your point...make it...please.

[T.S.]I believe I made my point, as simply as it may be made - the energy content of the two fuel types is vastly different due to the way in which they are used.  One is a gas, and one is a liquid.  You get a "Liquified Propane Gas" by going through a phase change which requires putting a butt-load of energy into a raw fuel source - which changes its energy denstity, and the way you can purchase it...  You buy 5-gallons, but at what pressue and what "phase"  I don't recall the specific mechanics, but I'm fairly certain you don't burn the liquid in an LPG powered BBQ (just the evaporated gas in the top of the tank).  Also, my gas bill shows "therms" not gallons... so a conversion would need to be done to compare apples-to-apples[/T.S]

...I can only imagine that the elected officials never look nor much care about the billions thrown at "green" public transportation using CNG. Atlantic City has a full new fleet of CNG vehicles and that city is losing more dollar$ that its casino patrons...


I agree with your statement, and this is a personal point of fury of mine – I live in California, and out here we have the “environmentalists” screaming that we need to shut down our two nuclear power plants

San Onofre is but smack dab in the center of a major fault line.  I can only assume that somebody really influential owned the property.  When it was built it was sorta in the cenyer of a mostly uninhabited area that was clearly going to annexed by LA in 10 or 20 years.  Just imagine....a "nucular" (thanks, W) power IN La.  The mind boggles.  Hey, what could go wrong?  After all, SDG&E got a huge rate increase to build SO and the thing never made a KW for many years after it was finished and SDG&E just a kept on keep'n on with the rate hikes.  Funny thing is that when it opened the rates were hiked again.  That outfit bought an entire tanker full of HIGH sulphur oil that had been illegal to burn in that state for many years.  They sold that tyanker for half what they paid for it and world prices had gone up in the interim.  They went to the state and asked for a rate hike to cover the loss and you'll never guess what happened....they got the hike plus.  Thanks Gov Reagan/Wilson. Now you gotta have seen the next one coming....The pres/CEO of SDG&E got a 1 million bonus and he deserved that money cause he worked hard to get that income for SDG&E and their most profitable year to that date should not go uncompensated nor un-noticed by Ken Lay....and up and comer at that time.  Don;t get me started.

Now it only seems logical that everybody start talk'n bout them durned infernal puke environmentalists that don't unnerstan God's will and the Corp. bottom line.  Yeah..Whitewater, blue dress, dope smugglar and MONICA. You bet. Tongue Roll Eyes Angry Angry Angry


 and start building solar and wind power farms (a knee-jerk reaction to the Fukashima disaster playing out now in Japan).  Yes we have solar technology, but to date the most efficient panel is about 19.5% efficient at converting sun energy into electrical energy – compare that to a 35% efficient diesel engine directly attached to an 85% efficient alternator = 29.75%...  Still a 10% lead today, using state of the art solar technology.

The point is that no matter how inefficient those wind turbines are there are groups buying them and selling the trons back to the power grid and making a profit.  You should be dancing on air that somebody is making money off of your dependance on tron power. You guys always make it sound like wind Power was owned by the Gummint and the Gummint was getting rich off of the tax payer.  Remember,,,The corp bottom line is driving that thang.  All of it.

[T.S.]You guys?  I'm not saying tear down the exsting power generation - in fact, I would yell against that...  Why add more waste and use more energy tearing down an existing power source?[/T.S.]

As a practical matter (and opined from  an Eagle Scout who has done his share of conservation), it seems really stupid to install a 100 Acre solar farm in delicate Mohave Desert habitat (where life barely clings on the threads of the resources available, and a little damage can devastate an ecosystem) – when we have about 29 billion acres of paved roads (just in California!!!) already that could be shaded by solar panels to keep the asphalt from heating the ambient air and would reduce the shaded vehicles’ air conditioning loads…  Doing that would also prevent carving service roads to the new solar plants because - duh, the roads are where ever the panels are that way… Smiley.

God bless you my Brother.  And I will go you one further: that tricity could be used to power the vehicles that are using that road.  Steel tires, read rail road, are so much more efficient at rolling with a burden.  What  say we put in high speed monorail suspended and powered by solar.  Holy crapo Leroy, you are one of them Commie, Lefty, Pinko,  Conservationist,  PC, dare I say it....LIBRAL. Blue Dress, Rose Law, futures....  THAT WOULD NEVER WORK IN T H I S COUNTRY!!!!

 Another peave - if a person in California is going to buy an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, or Tesla-S or Roadster, it shoud be mandated by law that they cover their house in Solar panels to offset the load to the power grid as part of the cost of vehicle purchase.

With all the blame that could be justifiably spread around among all those bottom dwellers you have set your imagination to finding cause and clause to punish those that have put their money where their mouth is and done something to resolve a terrible situation.  You are to be commended for the audacity to "LET NO GOOD DEED GO UNPUNISHED"... publicly.  And just what do we do with all that evidence that proves that elect power generated at a power plant is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the power generated by a gasoline engine to transport the same load the same distance?  So let me see if I got this straight....we are going to punish those that are more frugal and use less and pollute less?  Sorry, Charlie, already been done....SDG&E got a rate hike cause the rate hike they got to invest in homes to make them more efficient worked so well they lost revenue on reduced sales so to maintain profits they had to charge more per kilowatt.  You can't make this up.  SDG&E had the highest rates and cost per household in the country and the rate payers used less power than any other district of the USA.  Time for another $1M bonus.  I wonder if that is sufficient in this age as my numbers are at least 10 years old.  What do you say... 10M or maybe 20 million dollars?  We can cover it with reduced pay for those lazy Cival Servant tearchers that are living of the fat of us hard working people.  Lets cut taxes while we are in there with a knife.


[T.S.]I think my biggest issue, and the reason for my ferver in this thread is the marketing people and media who are pushing the positives and ignoring the negatives, and the public which can't tell the difference.  What was the joke: "Any problem caused by a tank can be fixed by a tank"?  The engineers that got us into this mess are going to have to get us out of this mess, not people shouting with picket signs or smeakring each other with used motor oil in front of an oil company's office (with the exception of the PR people, no one there gives half a darn).  I also personally don't take kindly to a politician telling me they know better because they read a brief or they are "following the voice of the public" - the public can be sheep (as we often prove Smiley).  Electric cars are probably part of the solution, but only if the power they are consuming is part of the solution, until then they are a bad idea (kind of a KFC before the chicken thing...).  Solar is a great idea, but not on a large scale yet, nor is wind a great large scale solution - niether can fulfill the base-load of the country, and they require a major use of resources and space to install in large scale.  Solar and wind is great in small scale for point of use loads (like a water pump in a cow field).  I am a user of Solar electricity in cases where the power would not be efficiently procured by other means, and I've been puting together a solar panel for continuous load on my pickup truck (the solar panel will charge a battery that will be pulled down by a small constant load), this removes the dependancy on combustible fuel for that load, and costs a bit of money to build - but there is no other solution that would equal the power availability, and with the constraints on the space available I can meet this load (but no more, I'm not delusional enough to think I can power my whole truck from solar and get away from gas).[/T.S.]

I too apologize for the minor hijack…  Of course the same statement of “do it your way” applies, but it is my personal opinion that however well intentioned your idea may be, you are probably actually setting yourself up for a disaster…

-Tim


I am not going to apologize for the hijack of the thread as I am following your hi Jack pretty closely.  Actually, I think I deserve kudos for making you look so good...
[T.S.]Heck, I've been trying to polish my turds for years...  If you can make 'em look good, I'd be gratefull Wink[/T.S.]
...Not to mention the being ignored by another 10 "Corp Patriots".

Ever cheerfull and heart warming,

John
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 10:58:24 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2011, 10:18:49 PM »

This is a hijack, sorry - my last word on this, as i have already said my piece and stated my position on the thread topic...

...My take on it is that we are building for our own personal pleasure and for the future generation. WE wont see ROI but in later years our grandkids will be able to sell these strong beasts that will out survive us. So it is kinda like an inheritance thing to the next couple of generations...

I respect your position - I offer an alternative train of thought: Why not use the most efficient means of generating energy now and less of it, while researching an equivalent efficiency/energy power source?  Aren't we doing more damage to the entire ecosystem by taking vast sums of land to install inefficient hardware (which by the way is constructed using higher-impact energy sources)?  They still don't know how to recycle old solar cells efficiently, and they only have a 20-year operating life, meaning that you aren't getting "a couple of generations" out of it, you're merely dumping the problem on the next generation right about the time they start going to college.

To the topic of this thread, the "investment" in a CNG conversion will require the manufacture of high pressure tanks (high energy input process, most power for that comes from coal, or natural gas combustion power plants), and high capital expenditure for the user.  Then, you are still burning a non-replenishable fuel which has a high delivery impact (i.e. is still has to be transported from where it came), plus as previously mentioned in the thread, the maintenance cycles go from 50K-miles down to 15K-miles, meaning you will be using 3x as much as much lubrication oil in the operation of the engine...  It's trading one evil for the same evil, and probably more of it...

Like electric cars, the batteries aren't mined and built in the U.S. - that all comes from somewhere else and is bult somewhere else, then installed into the car in a third plac (with the transporation each time done by "dirty" energy sources). You have to think of the total cost and implementation of a "solution" to say that it is a better solution.  Like you can't say that an electric car is better than a gas car if the electric power plant runs on dead babies (ok, bad dead baby joke).  A great catch-22 with clean energy I like to reference is the eco-people screaming that they want more wind-power, standing across the street from the other eco-people saying they want less wind power since the windmills kill endangered birds.  Or the people who say they want a more efficient power grid, but then turn around and fight the installation of SmartMeters that are the gateway to that more efficient system...

-Tim

I must have gotten lost somewhere, my statement was not in regards to saving the earth for all time. My statement was strickly about building our own personal buses in THIS day and age for the average bus builder in his backyard.
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2011, 10:37:37 PM »

This is a hijack, sorry - my last word on this, as i have already said my piece and stated my position on the thread topic...

...My take on it is that we are building for our own personal pleasure and for the future generation. WE wont see ROI but in later years our grandkids will be able to sell these strong beasts that will out survive us. So it is kinda like an inheritance thing to the next couple of generations...

I respect your position - I offer an alternative train of thought...

I must have gotten lost somewhere, my statement was not in regards to saving the earth for all time. My statement was strickly about building our own personal buses in THIS day and age for the average bus builder in his backyard.

It appears in my haste to post, I missed the point of your post - my bad.  My appologies. Shocked  we should all be so fortunate to leave our well build and maintained busses to the next generation - much better than them going out and buying a new sticks-and-staples...

-Tim
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 11:42:49 PM »

Anyone looking for a CNG converted bus, albeit it a shuttle bus, One is on Ebay. I was kinda surprised as I recognized the lime green paint, but no mention of the fuel used in the ad text. I think the buyer maybe even more surprised couple hundred miles down the road.

"For sale here is a 2011 Ford E-450 Transit Bus. Bus is 22 feet long. 13 Passenger Capacity, 2 wheel chairs, 1 driver. Starcraft conversion, handicap lift, dually, AC. Priced as is, runs and drives. Had previous front damage, repaired and ready to go. GVWR: 14500. Hours/Miles 433. Ford 6.8L. Automatic Trans. "

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