Move over, Jack — there’s a new invention popping up, and it’s a nice surprise for fleet customers and retailers interested in making compressed natural gas (CNG) usage as commonplace as traditional gasoline.
GE and Peake Fuel Solutions, an affiliate of Chesapeake Energy Corp., have launched the CNG In A Box system, which is designed to allow easier adoption of CNG refueling options for large- and small-scale retailers. The plug-and-play onsite fueling solution was unveiled Oct. 8, 2012, at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) 2012 Annual Show.
All Packed Up
Equipped with everything needed to add natural gas fuel to operations quickly and simply, the CNG In A Box system is a GE ecomagination-qualified refueling option that provides an easy, lower-cost fueling experience for consumers and a higher-margin solution for facility operators compared to gasoline or diesel, according to GE.
“The CNG In A Box system is a unique fueling solution that brings together some of the best innovation from across GE to help fleet owners and everyday drivers realize the benefits of cleaner burning, abundant, more affordable natural gas,” said Mike Hosford, general manager – Unconventional Resources, GE Oil & Gas.
Chesapeake Energy’s Kent Wilkinson, vice president – Natural Gas Ventures, agreed. “Combining Peake Fuel Solutions’ natural gas expertise and GE’s breadth of cross-industry technology capabilities will advance the use of abundant and affordable natural gas fueling solutions,” Wilkinson said.
The CNG In A Box system compresses natural gas from a pipeline into CNG onsite at a traditional automotive fueling station or industrial location. CNG-powered vehicles, such as taxis, buses, or small trucks, as well as individual consumer vehicles, can then refill their tanks using a dispenser with the same look and feel as a traditional diesel or gasoline dispenser.
“Natural gas is produced at a relatively lower cost and is cleaner burning than gasoline or diesel fuel — natural gas vehicles can show an emissions reduction of up to 80 percent compared to gasoline vehicles,” said Mark Vachon, GE ecomagination vice president. “Through ecomagination, we’ll continue to deliver to the industry innovative solutions that deliver both great economics and environmental performance, and the CNG In A Box system exemplifies this commitment.”
Easy to Unwrap
The CNG In A Box system’s 8-foot x 20-foot container features a compact footprint intended for easy shipping and maintenance, and its modular and novel design makes it plug-and-play onsite.
Wayne, a GE Energy Business, manufactures the dispensers that deliver the CNG from the CNG In A Box system unit to vehicles. These alternative-fuel dispensers feature payment card industry (PCI)-compliant, pay-at-the-pump technology. Using the same dispenser and payment terminal interfaces as Wayne petroleum dispensers simplifies point-of-sale integration, according to the company.
Financing for the CNG In A Box system is offered by GE Capital, which provides competitive rates and flexible payment options, according to the company. By combining an entire acquisition — including equipment, delivery, and installation — into a single monthly payment, Peake Fuel Solutions’ customers can structure payments according to their cash flow and eliminate the costs and time associated with paying multiple vendors. Business owners can work with a single provider to acquire, finance, and maintain their CNG In A Box system.
As of press time, GE announced plans to provide more than 250 CNG In A Box systems to Peake Fuel Solutions for natural gas vehicle infrastructure , which started fall 2012.