Trailer Talk

Trailer-mounted fueling station lets customers ease into LNG

May 16, 2012

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Let's say you and your boss want to go "green" by trying out some natural gas-fueled trucks or tractors that you're getting on loan or lease, but you want to fuel them at your terminal, where diesel fuel islands already are.
Encana Natural Gas Inc. can park a mobile fueling station right on your premises.
Encana Natural Gas Inc. can park a mobile fueling station right on your premises.
That would require spending millions for a fueling station, and at this point you balk.

No worries. Encana Natural Gas Inc. can park a mobile fueling station right on your premises, says David Hill, a company vice president. You can use the station until you decide to take the complete plunge into gas and set up a permanent station, or say no and send the trucks and trailer-borne station back to where they came from.

The station is parked in Encana's booth at the Alternative Fuel Transportation Expo, going on this week at the Long Beach (Calif.) Convention Center. Hill and Emily Kelley, the company's communications advisor, explained how the station is equipped.

Set up for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, the station includes a cryogenic tank to hold up to 5,100 gallons of the super-cooled fuel, plus a pump to deliver the product to vehicle saddle tanks and a card reader to register the transaction. A Kohler generator sits on the drop-deck trailer's nose to power everything; of course it burns natural gas.

The station also has equipment that manages the fuel's pressure, which is stored at a relatively low 5 to 175 psi. Gas will vent fuel if high ambient temperatures cause pressure to rise, and a metal tub surrounds the apparatus to catch any spills so you shouldn't ever be faced with a hazmat cleanup.

The trailer is 53 feet long and 102.3 inches wide, and, like many flatbeds, sits on a spread tandem to ease compliance with weight laws. Loaded up with LNG, the trailer weighs about 60,000 pounds and 40,000 pounds when empty.

InoxCVA, a specialty builder of mobile pumps and tanks for the natural gas industry, assembled this one. It cost about $550,000, and Encana has six of them, Hill said. Encana ( also builds permanent fueling stations for liquefied and compressed natural gas.

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Author Bio

Tom Berg

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Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.


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