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Consortium to test Carnot isothermal compression technology for CNG refueling

Northwest Natural Gas Company of Portland, Oregon and Carnot Compression LLC based in Scotts Valley, California have formed a consortium to build and test an innovative CNG refueling unit. The planned 2-GGE/hour prototype compressor will use Carnot’s proprietary isothermal micro-bubble compression technology, which utilizes the weight of a working liquid in a centrifugal (g-force) environment to compress natural gas.

Carnot’s compression system takes a mixture of gas and liquid at any temperature and combines them as an emulsion when entering the compressor. The rotating compressor uses centrifugal force to shrink the bubbles, compressing the gas inside them as they move from the center of rotation to the outside of the compressor casing, where they are allowed to collapse as they join together in a pressure chamber.

This single stage compression cycle not only compresses the gas up to 200 times the entry pressure while maintaining the entry temperature (isothermal), it also dries the gas to levels beyond most industry requirements.

The Carnot Compressor is projected to cut the energy utilized for compression by 30% or more over conventional technology.

Carnot will engineer, design and manufacture the prototype CNG refueling unit (HRA/VRA range) in collaboration with NW Natural and the consortium. The project will validate system performance for Carnot’s patent-pending technology in a real-world setting.

The consortium approach allows companies of varied sizes to take part in bringing a new technology to drive CNG refueling infrastructure growth. Empirical data will be collected and verified by the University of Portland and George Fox universities under a separate grant.


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