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Is Your Vehicle Maintenance Facility CNG Compliant?

Posted at March 11, 2014 | By : | Categories : Blog | 0 Comment

Many trucking companies and fleet operators are making the switch to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). However, making the switch means making sure the correct components are in place. Most of these companies already have traditional maintenance facilities established, so instead of tearing down and rebuilding them, companies are looking to reconfigure their shops to save time and money.

So how do you make your facility CNG compliant?

There are four specific areas to take into consideration:
1. Ventilation Systems
2. Gas Detection Systems
3. Heating Systems
4. Electrical Installation

It is important to note that applicable codes for proper CNG maintenance facility requirements can vary from state to state, but here are a few tips to get you started.

Ventilation
Most codes require a certain amount of space for the natural gas to be exhausted. To ensure your ventilation qualifies, use maintenance devices such as methane detectors, HVAC systems, and exhaust fans.

Gas Detection
One of the most important CNG maintenance facility requirements is – no gas leaks. Precautions should be taken to ensure that your facility’s gas detectors are always working. Backup battery systems in case of power failures and exterior gas detection lights will help alert you to the gas system’s status and make sure all levels are correct.

Heating
In a gas facility, the proper heating system is vital. Open flame heaters should not be placed close to the gas chamber. Most codes require heating systems to contain sealed combustion, catalytic, or infrared heaters that hold a temperature of below 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Electrical
The usage of traditional lighting systems are not recommended in a maintenance facility. Special lighting, such as shunt trip breakers, can prevent the potential for ignition. Generators are an excellent backup plan to ensure the lighting in case of a power outage.

As stated earlier, applicable codes for proper CNG maintenance facility requirements may vary. As a maintenance facility design/build firm, ET Environmental will work with you to determine the specific details of your CNG facility needs. For more information, please contact info@etenv.com.

About Richard Drake

Richard Drake, PE, is Vice President of Engineering for ET Environmental. He has more than 25 years of engineering experience and serves on the Board of NGVAmerica.