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Prototype of Self-Refueling CNG Vehicle Successfully Tested

As part of Phase I of the ARPA-E MOVE project, Zahroof Corp has designed, built and successfully tested a prototype engine to prove the concept of selectively repurposing one cylinder of an automobile engine running on CNG to be used as a compressor. This would allow a CNG vehicle to refuel itself at home quickly and with low capital cost. Zahroof Corp is now providing the valve technology for Phase II of this project.

The study, headed by Christopher L. Hagen of Oregon State University, along with researchers from Czero Inc, is titled “Design and Analysis of a Self-Refueling CNG Vehicle to Provide Home Refueling” and can be viewed here.

The study proposes the repurposing of one cylinder of a vehicle’s internal combustion engine (Cummins I6) as a compressor of CNG, at home, to allow the vehicle to refill more quickly and more cost effectively.  By creating a quicker, more efficient way to refuel vehicles, CNG could overcome a major hurdle in its adoption. Natural gas at 1.22 bar is compressed to 3,626 PSI through three stages of compression with the engine running at 1,000 RPM. This is a very difficult application for a compressor valve as the same set of valves had to be used for all three stages of compression, with the final stage compressing gas from 614 PSI to 3,626 PSI (a 3,012 PSI pressure differential). The MRV was able to meet the challenge, resulting in the success of Phase I of this project.

“Innovation will be the key to adoption of compressed natural gas, and it is studies like this one that hold the most promise,” said Zahroof Mohamed, President and CTO of Zahroof Valves.

Learn more about the StraightFlo Valve at www.zahroofvalves.com.