Natural Gas vehicle station counts continue to rise in the US, with stations now available on most highways and interstates. Whether a vehicle requires CNG, natural gas that is typically compressed at the station, or LNG, natural gas that is either liquefied on-site or trucked in from a liquefaction facility, today’s drivers have many more options for refueling than even three years ago.
Search the map below to find Natural Gas stations on your route:
NGV Station Types
Natural gas vehicles are fueled primarily at three types of stations:
Fast-Fill CNG, Time-Fill CNG, and LNG.
Fast-fill CNG stations are best suited for retail situations where vehicles need to fill up quickly and randomly. These stations receive fuel from a local utility line at a low pressure and then use an on-site compressor – or series of compressors depending on station capacity – to compress the gas to high pressure. Once compressed, the CNG is stored in adjacent tanks for a quick fill-up.
Fast-fill stations come in a variety of sizes depending on fueling rates, arrival patterns, and the size of vehicles regularly served. Stations are designed to consider redundancy and frequency needs at peak refueling hours through the installation of multiple compressors.
Filling time at a fast-fill dispenser is equivalent to a typical gas or diesel pump, depending on tank size.
Time-fill CNG stations are ideal for fleet vehicles with large tanks that return to a central location for an extended period, like nightly. At a time-fill station, CNG is delivered by the local utility line to a compressor on site. Vehicles are filled directly by the compressor, not from storage vessels, though a storage system is often incorporated into the process to reduce wear and tear on the compressor and aid in topping off the vehicle fuel tank.
Time-fill is a preferred method of refueling refuse trucks, school buses, and other fleets with similar refueling requirements. Time-fill stations have significantly lower equipment and installation costs because they do not require storage, priority, or sequential refueling components.
These types of stations are generally “behind the fence” operations not open for fueling by the public. Fueling at time-fill dispensers can take anywhere from several minutes to a few hours depending on facility size and vehicle tank capacity.
On-road LNG Fueling
LNG fueling stations generally receive their LNG supply from a liquefaction plant via tanker truck specially designed to distribute cryogenic fuels. At the fueling site, LNG is offloaded into the facility’s super-cooled storage system. When needed, LNG is dispensed as a liquid into cryogenic tanks onboard the vehicle. Because LNG is distributed as a cryogenic fuel, personal protection equipment is required when fueling and training of fueling procedures is necessary.
Marine LNG Bunkering
LNG bunkering is the process of transferring LNG to a ship for use as fuel. Bunkering to a ship comes from different sources: ship-to-ship, terminal-to-ship, and truck-to-ship. Choosing a source for bunkering is dependent on permitting process at the terminal and availability of LNG at the location.
Railroad LNG Fueling
Railroads that have made the conversion to LNG can be filled like on-road applications. The LNG is stored in a tender car, which then supplies fuel to the locomotive during operation.
Need a natural gas station on your route?
If use of existing fueling infrastructure is not practical, convenient, or economical, it may be better to build a new CNG, LNG, or LCNG station. NGVA can connect you with member station builders across North America.
NGVA can connect you with member station builders across North America.