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Consortium to Test Compression Technology for CNG Refueling


Northwest Natural Gas Company (NW Natural) of Portland, Oregon, and Carnot Compression based in Scotts Valley, California, have formed a consortium to build and test an innovative CNG refueling unit.

“This path could lower the infrastructure costs for vehicle refueling while increasing reliability, and that could drive greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel.”

The planned 2 GGE per hour prototype compressor will use Carnot’s proprietary isothermal micro-bubble compression technology, which uses the weight of a working liquid in a centrifugal (g-force) environment to compress natural gas. The Carnot compressor will be designed to approach isothermal or constant temperature compression and is projected to cut the energy utilized for compression by 30 percent or more over conventional technology.

Carnot will engineer, design and manufacture the prototype CNG refueling unit (HRA/VRA range) in collaboration with NW Natural and the consortium. According to Carnot CEO, Todd Thompson, “Carnot’s system is designed to deliver dry and pure output gas, superior reliability, and scalability within a relatively small footprint.” The project will validate system performance for Carnot’s patent-pending technology in a real-world setting. Empirical data will be collected and verified by the University of Portland and George Fox universities under a separate grant.