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  1. Categories: Sustainability

    Providing power with game-changing technology

    It’s the size of a dishwasher but does a lot more than just clean up. Redox Power Systems, a Maryland-based start-up company, has partnered with researchers at the University of Maryland to commercialize a technology that could potentially change the way we look at distributed energy generation.

    The two are working together to introduce a fuel cell that is about one-tenth the size and costs 90 per cent less than current commercial fuel cells. Redox’s PowerSERG 2-80 connects to your natural gas line and electrochemically converts methane to electricity, giving homes and businesses the ability to generate their own power. The fuel cell has a capacity of 25 kilowatts—enough to power a gas station or small grocery store. Sales are set to begin in 2014.

    In Ontario, this summer’s heavy rain and storms showed us what could potentially happen to our power when Mother Nature puts the pressure on. Redox’s fuel cell is something that can keep individual homes and businesses powered in emergencies that temporarily affect the larger electricity grid. This promising new technology has the potential to provide us all with safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy via natural gas.

    To read more, please visit here.

    Is distributed energy something that Ontario should consider investing in? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

  2. Categories: Sustainability
    Natural Gas Ford 2014 F-150

    Natural Gas Now Fuels Ford F-150

    Natural gas has taken a giant leap forward with Ford Motor Company’s announcement that they will provide a natural gas engine for their flagship F-150 pick-up truck.

    Though a natural gas vehicle is already available to the consumer market (the Honda Civic), it’s ill suited to heavy-duty work. Other makes and models of natural gas trucks have been available, though they are typically heavier models, and available in limited quantities to commercial operations. This announcement heralds a new era in consumer perception of natural gas as a viable mass-market fuel alternative to diesel or gasoline.

    It is believed the biggest opportunity for the truck will manifest in fleet vehicle sales. With the decline in gas prices due to unconventional drilling and extraction, companies can realize a $0.50 saving for every litre – an enormous contribution to their bottom lines. As well, companies seeking to “green” their operations will produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions as compared with other fossil fuels.

    While the upfront costs of a natural gas vehicle may seem high ($7,500 – $9,500 more than the average $24,000 Ford F-150) the typical cost savings of using natural gas could pay for the difference in as little as two years.

    If it were readily available in your vehicle of choice, would you make the switch to natural gas? Let us know in the comments section provided below.


  3. Categories: Business

    Canadian Conversion Update

    All across the nation, the smart money is placing bets on liquefied natural gas for transportation. Not only is there a more than abundant supply (which means a stable price point for many years to come), it burns cleaner than diesel, a fuel that currently dominates the heavy trucks of shipping and transportation industries.

    That’s why Winnipeg-based large shipping company, Bison Transport, is converting its fleet – and enjoying the 30 per cent savings that come from filling up on natural gas instead of conventional diesel. They are joining Vedder Transport Group of Abbotsford, B.C. as well as Groupe Robert Inc. out of Quebec, which have also added natural gas fleet vehicles.

    Bison is partnering with Shell Canada on the project. Shell, in turn, is opening LNG fuel stations in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton under the Flying J banner. Of course, the more stations, the more that companies will consider the switch to clean, affordable and reliable energy.

    In Hamilton, the city is in the final stages of buying a new fleet of compressed natural gas buses. If council approves, Hamilton will be ordering them next year. They cite the heavy maintenance costs involved in having diesel engines comply with emission standards as another reason for their conversion.

    Municipal vehicles across the country are also making the leap. Garbage trucks are boosting their “green” image by converting. A school board in the Okanagan has replaced older buses with a dozen that run on natural gas.

    The numbers remain modest – Bison’s 15 LNG rigs amount to one-fifth of its trucks on that route, and only a fraction of its total fleet of 1,250.

    But it’s a good start.

    What do you think the future holds? Let us know in the comments section provided below.