With $2.375 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is working on two projects with Northwestern University researchers and a startup they have created, NuMat Technologies to develop lightweight, affordable natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel tanks for passenger cars, along with natural gas compressors that can fuel the vehicles in the home or office settings. The projects are part of DOE’s Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy program. GTI plans to develop “a low-pressure adsorbent material” to be used in gas storage tanks designed exclusively for NGVs to overcome the current heavy, large tanks that must withstand pressures of up to 3,600 psi, which adds to the cost and weight of the NGVs compared to gasoline and diesel vehicles. GTI received $1.5 million from DOE to develop the advanced adsorbed natural gas technology for fueling tanks and $875,000 to develop a unique low-pressure NGV fueling technology.

A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff report released Tuesday is proposing that the five-member regulatory panel pursue the creation of an energy data center that would provide a central source of aggregated and anonymous information on consumer energy use statewide. The briefing paper authored by the policy adviser to CPUC President Michael Peevey and the CPUC’s interim head of its policy and planning division argues that such a centralized resource would be a plus for elected officials, policymakers and ultimately consumers. Aggregated customer energy information exists, but it is not easily accessible, and the proposal aims to change that. “Consolidating that information in one location, such as a data center, should help improve state energy policies and create new market opportunities to save energy,” the report said.

©Copyright 2012Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.