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CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

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  • CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

    Hi folks... I know the idea/concept of CNG (Natural Gas) powered vehicles is not new and in fact in practice all over the place. Do you think there is a stong possibility of CNG powered vehicles taking off..and eventually replacing the Gasoline powered units in the next 30 years?
    Does anyone know how efficient the CNG engines are..in comparison to a Hybrid or Gasoline powered unit? I love the idea of the Home Filling units (aka PHIL) but it takes like 4 hours to replace what was in a tank after driving 50 miles (according to the PHIL site).

    Also.. what about the "Pickens Plan".. Watching the videos on his site it all makes sense..but I guess Star Wars (the movie) made sense when I watched that... Is it going to take Big Government to FORCE wind power or at least FUND it before this gets off the ground..and is PICKENS just a seeder or a motivator for this project .. a first step so to speak. ????

    I love the idea of what Pickens in doing...a big oil guy who either is seeing a future problem with the US's oil dependency OR a smart rich guy who can get richer (or get more "relevant" when the oil rigs dry up) off of a Wind program.

    Ideas..thoughts.. ??
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

  • #2
    Re: CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

    Originally posted by peardog View Post
    Hi folks... I know the idea/concept of CNG (Natural Gas) powered vehicles is not new and in fact in practice all over the place. Do you think there is a stong possibility of CNG powered vehicles taking off..and eventually replacing the Gasoline powered units in the next 30 years?
    Does anyone know how efficient the CNG engines are..in comparison to a Hybrid or Gasoline powered unit? I love the idea of the Home Filling units (aka PHIL) but it takes like 4 hours to replace what was in a tank after driving 50 miles (according to the PHIL site).

    Also.. what about the "Pickens Plan".. Watching the videos on his site it all makes sense..but I guess Star Wars (the movie) made sense when I watched that... Is it going to take Big Government to FORCE wind power or at least FUND it before this gets off the ground..and is PICKENS just a seeder or a motivator for this project .. a first step so to speak. ????

    I love the idea of what Pickens in doing...a big oil guy who either is seeing a future problem with the US's oil dependency OR a smart rich guy who can get richer (or get more "relevant" when the oil rigs dry up) off of a Wind program.

    Ideas..thoughts.. ??
    T. Boon is out to make money. But after hearing him talk, and you hear him talk a lot in Oklahoma, you get the impression that he really believes what he is pushing.

    We have a wind farm where I grew up and it seems to be working out. It is definitely a part of the solution to being energy independent. It isn't going to work everyplace because some regions just don't get enough consistent wind energy.

    Over the next 10 years I think we could supply 40% of our energy needs with Nuclear. Another 30% with renewable sources such as wind and solar. The remaining could be supplied with natural gas we get locally. Some areas could resort to clean burning coal plants.

    At the same time we could increase our efficiency by encouraging energy saving systems like geothermal heating and cooling and on demand water heating.

    The biggest problem with NG vehicles is the same problem with all new technology vehicles. The distribution network. One reason Ethanol is making inroads is because it can use the current infrastructure.

    I think NG vehicles are best for fleet type situations. And they are popular in that role.
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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    • #3
      Re: CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

      Of course he is out to make money..
      And he figures his next fortune will be made on Water, he is currently buying up water rights in Texas..

      But in our society there is nothing wrong with having a profit driven motive.. The man is building the largest windfarm in North America on his own dime, but to make a real impact in the amount of Megawats we get from wind it would take at least some "incentives" by the Government (similar to "incentives" the oil industry gets right now).

      As far as natural gas powered vehicles goes.. the distribution network is very similar to what we have now.. It is held in underground tanks.. delivered by tanker trucks. I lived in New Zealand for several years, and many of the vehicles there are Dual Fuel.. Petrol and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) and you can get either of them at the same location.. the Gas Station. I owened a LPG vehicle and it was no diffent than a gasoline powered vehicle.

      In the end I believe that he is a patriot..
      He is a self made man, and of course money is a motivating factor..
      But I truley believe that he sees this as a way to bolster our National Security by lowering the ridiculous amount of money we send overseas to these "Oil Producing Nations" and keep more of these resources right here at home by investing in our own "Energy Infastructure"

      In 1970 we imported 30 percent of our oil..
      Now we import 70 percent.. and use much more of it.
      No amount of drilling with change this.

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      • #4
        Re: CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

        I support anyone bringing attention to the issue on their own... and "gambling" their own fortune on making it work. It's pretty much how everything SHOULD be done. I assume the motivating factor for most things we "enjoy" in this life was $$$ or success or pride.


        I'm surprise Bill Gates hasn't started a "Gates Engine" program or something that will bring an alternative energy to the world. (Ok..no blue screen jokes).. I mean helping the poor and disease striken is great with your charities..but what about abundant cheap power for the world... That would be the ticked to Immortality for the Gate'ster..
        |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
        ..now where did I put my keys?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

          What I meant by "out to make money" is that he believes that it is a viable source of energy otherwise he wouldn't invest millions of his own dollars into it.

          In the early days, when oil was still only about $40-50 a barrel, he also talked about alternative sources but said that we might need some government support to get it off the ground. I think he still mentions government involvement at some levels. So at times some mistook his statements and thought he was wanting to use government regulation to bolster his pocket book.

          In fact he was, and still is, worried about the huge transfer of wealth that is going on in this country. From us to countries that don't exactly embrace our ideals. In a way it is fortunate for his plans that oil did spike so high. It shows that he wasn't just talking out his but and is genuinely concerned and has a bit of a clue about the subject he speaks.
          Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

            If I recall, the primary problem with NG as a fuel is that it is so much less dense than gasoline. Natural Gas has the same basic compounds as building blocks, but it's packed into much smaller molecules. This gives it a slightly better energy-to-weight rating than gasoline, but a much worse weight-to-volume rating. If you were to take your typical 14-gallon fuel tank on a car and fill it with Natural Gas, your driving range would drop from ~300 miles to ~30 miles. This is the same basic problem Hydrogen has as a fuel, only Hydrogen is even worse: That tank would get you maybe 10 miles running on Hydrogen.

            This means in order to be any use, Natural Gas and Hydrogen both have to be compressed (Hydrogen much more so than Natural Gas since its so much lighter). I just saw this article on Natural Gas cars in production now in Utah that suggests that even after compression, your typical Natural Gas tank will get you only about half as far as your typical Gasoline tank. You aren't paying any more per mile to drive that distance (and in Utah you'll actually be paying less), but you still have to fill up much more often.

            Cutting your range to half is annoying, but not a crippling blow for Natural Gas, especially if it can be made more cheaply than gasoline. But compression makes the rest of the supply chain much more complicated as well. Gasoline can be stored by pouring it into a container and letting it sit there until you need it, but Natural Gas requires a complex and expensive supply chain of compressors to prevent it from simply evaporating into the air.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: CNG Powered Vehicles - "Pickens Plan"

              There aren't sufficient natgas reserves. And once it becomes more popular, it's price will rise. That whole supply and demand thing.

              Turning coal into gasoline is a better alternative - discounting global warming. There are enormous reserves in the US, China, Australia, Canadia. Several hundred year's worth.

              Coal into gasoline has been done for ages, and is economical above $50/barrel oil equivalent. If oil stays expensive, expect some conversion sites to pop up.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer_Tropsch#History

              If battery technology improves, we'll drive nuclear powered cars one day. Nuclear plants feeding our electric cars. Solar power can provide 1 gigawatt per square mile with 100% efficient collection. Right now common solar panels provide 15% efficiency. Give it another hundred years or so, no need to rush. We've got all the fuel we need to power us in the interim - coal, oil, natgas, plutonium, uranium.
              Last edited by Nikolas; 09-04-2008, 11:13 AM.
              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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