NREL announces new projects to advance medium and heavy duty NGV technologies

March 6, 2019. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected nine projects as part of a multimillion-dollar effort funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the California Energy Commission (CEC), and the Southcoast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to advance the state of technology for natural gas vehicles (NGVs).

   The selected projects will focus on reducing the total cost of ownership of NGVs, increasing vehicle efficiency, decreasing local air pollution, and advancing technology development to increase the use of more affordable medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engines and vehicles.

   “Leveraging the technical expertise of industry partners can have a powerful impact on transportation technologies,” said Johney Green, associate lab director for Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences at NREL. “Innovation that can change the paradigm for energy use in transportation is going to come by bringing together researchers from several areas. We are looking forward to partnering with these researchers to develop breakthrough NGV technology.”

   These awards are the result of collaboration between NREL, DOE, CEC, and AQMD. The partners have a history of working together to identify and fund important natural gas vehicle projects, including supporting many of the technologies on the road today. Projects selected through this solicitation will complement DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) research started in FY 2017. The following projects were selected for negotiation with NREL:

- Cummins High Efficiency, Ultra Low Emissions Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Engine Research and Development Project - Cummins, Inc. – Columbus, Indiana

- CNG Full Fills with a Complete Smart Fueling System - Gas Technology Institute – Des Plaines, Illinois

- Downsized, Optimized, High Efficiency, Spark Ignited Natural Gas Engine - Gas Technology Institute – Des Plaines, Illinois

- A Compression-Ignition Mono-Fueled NG High-Efficiency, High-Output Engine for Medium and Heavy-Duty Applications - Michigan Technological University – Houghton, Michigan

- Development of a Pent-Roof Medium-Duty Spark-Ignited Natural Gas Engine in an Optimized Hybrid Vehicle System - Southwest Research Institute – San Antonio, Texas

- A Multi-Cylinder Transient Plasma Ignition System for Increased Efficiency and Reduced Emissions in Natural Gas Engines - Transient Plasma Systems, Inc. – Torrance, California

- Plug-in Hybrid CNG Drayage Truck “PHET” - US Hybrid Corporation – Torrance, California

- High-Efficiency Natural Gas Dual Fuel Combustion Strategies for Heavy-Duty Engines - University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Alabama

- Development of Zeolite-Based Catalysts for Improved Low Temperature CH4 Conversion - University at Buffalo – Buffalo, New York