Compressed Natural Gas

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by BTPost, Mar 1, 2011.


  1. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    We had a discussion on Flashchat the other day about alternative fuels for Off-Grid Gensets, and Compressed Natural Gas came up....

    LAKEWOOD, Wash -- A natural gas explosion outside the Pierce Transit administration building ignited flames and released big plumes of smoke seen for miles late Monday afternoon.

    Firefighters arrived at the building on South Tacoma Way at 96th Street just after 5 p.m. to find a natural gas compressor on fire, said West Pierce Fire & Rescue Capt. Jenny Sharp. The compressor was located at a refueling island in the building's lot.
    "The heat was so intense, firefighters had to back off to be at a safe distance to fight the fire," Sharp said.
    Officials ordered an evacuation of buildings within a quarter-mile radius of the explosion site as a precaution. But roads were reopen after Puget Sound Energy shut off the gas line around 6 p.m.
    Witness Ted Ford said he heard and felt three consecutive explosions from about a mile away.
    "My car shook - I drive a minivan. It shook when the second two explosions happened," he said. "(The) smoke is just so thick."
    Investigators are working to determine what caused the compressor to explode. No one was injured in the incident.
    Because the natural gas compressor has been damaged, Pierce Transit said buses may not be running on normal schedule Tuesday.
    "We already have staff coming in that are going to be running buses up to our emergency fueling site at Sea-Tac Airport," said Pierce Transit spokesman Lind Simonsen. "And the problem is tomorrow, we're concerned about how much service we'll be able to get out on the road.
    Riders are urged to check for any disruptions on Tuesday morning before heading out for their commute.

    Not quite what one would consider SAFE, in the Off-Grid Environment....
     
  2. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Nasty nasty stuff. VERY volatile, VERY VERY dangerous, and the US transports this stuff on rail cars. Sheeple ride in BUSSES powered by this stuff. Gasoline is 1000% safer. Heck, DIESEL is 1000000% safer. Amazing.
     
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Heh. Compressor station? What will you bet that the compressor was underloaded and went into surge? (Those three explosions almost certified the problem.) Guaranteed excitement. The ng just adds the special flavor of fire.

    Dunno if the compressor simply squeezed the gas and the bus tanks were gas holding or liquid tanks, but either way -

    I'm quite sure that the compressor is used to make raise pipeline pressure to service pressure on the vehicles, and equally sure that there were cooling plants (specialized refrigerators) in the building to cool the hot gas coming off the compressor. (If actually LNG instead of CNG, the reefers would be substantial.) And (also) sure that the compressor is centrifugal, similar to the front end of a jet engine. Turbo compressors do NOT like to be starved on the inlet, nor choked on the outlet, they protest by coming apart.
     
  4. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    No bets. That is exactly what it sounds like. Sounds like they were compressing it to store in bulk tanks and the supply dropped.
     
  5. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I think one should look up the amount of people hurt,killed,or burned by other fossil fuel's first before passing judgement on Natural Gas...
    I've worked and been around Natural Gas Compressor's for almost 36 yr's...
     
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