In some respects, it is easier and more economical to start from scratch when designing a facility to service CNG vehicles. But there is also a growing demand for garages with capabilities to service multiple vehicle types. According to the US Department of Energy, natural gas powers nearly 15 million vehicles worldwide.
The guidelines for garage modification are technical and very specific. Furthermore, there is a limit to the number of different kinds of alternative fueled vehicles that can be serviced under one roof. Codes are intended to measure safe and efficient functioning at each individual facility, but it is critical to rely on a certified expert to translate code into specific design components. CNG facility experts can help determine whether an existing garage is a good candidate for conversion or additions by considering these factors:
Plan Development and Coordination with AHJs:
“Authority Having Jurisdiction” is the local, city, county and/or state regulating agency who develops, implements and enforces strict codes for the design of vehicle maintenance garages. Each individual AHJ may have different quality standards that may affect garage design and capabilities.
When it comes to plan development, there are some initial questions to consider:
Is the facility already outfitted to house liquid fuels, and if so, what are the minimum modifications required to include CNG?
How will the facility vent and decomission used and empty cylinders – either on site or outsourced?
It is important to determine whether a facility is a minor or major repair garage, and if both levels of service are included, whether those areas will be physically separated and how.
Will the facility be limited to a service garage, or will there be an additional re-fueling station included?
A thorough facility assessment is carried out by design experts to gain insight into potential risks specific to a single garage, and those risks that are not necessarily covered by existing code. Potential scenarios with unintentional release of CNG/LNG are identified and strategies for accident prevention and risk mitigation are proposed. The facility expert will look at different kinds of maintenance facilities to determine acceptable “risk thresholds” and “safety margins.”
To address these questions and more, contact us – your trusted CNG facility experts.