Monday, June 2, 2008

Alternative fuel for your car

Ok, now that the little guy (my son) and the little pregnant lady ( my wife :) )are asleep, I can sit and write about the current problem many have with increasing fuel prices.

I jumped out of that boat a couple years ago now, and today I don’t care if there’s fuel shortages or not, or the price.

I had a GNC set installed when I saw that the price of fuel could be a problem in the not so distant future.

The GNC set allows your car to run on natural compressed gas, and almost any car or truck can be set with one of these.

Basically you have three components, besides the chipset for the car.
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First, you have a big yellow gas tank in your trunk. This part sucks the most because you do loose some space, and moderate size tanks like mine only allow you to drive 100 km.
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The good thing is that most gas stations now have compressed gas too so there’s a lot of infrastructure around, and that it only costs USD 2,50 to drive those 100 km.
Stopping by the station nearly every day is a pain in the butt, but the saved money is worth it in my book.

Second, you have the gas regulator an valve. This basically adjusts the amount of gas that feeds into the engine, and is connected with the yellow tank. This is where you connect to fill the tank with more natural gas at the station, though some have a setup that allows to fill it up with a connection right next to the fuel cap.
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Inside, you have a switch with a few LEDs that allow you to see how much GNC you have left.
The 3 way switch allows you to instantly go from gas to compressed gas or to auto.
The auto feature starts the car with regular gas, and switches to NCG automatically when you accelerate some.
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If you are serious about not using regular gas, you can go for months without using any, only using the auto feature just to start the car a bit at first and keep the system running and lubricated.

I think eventually people will have to use one form of alternative car fuel or another.

Meanwhile, go diesel, in a fuel efficient car, and choose manual over automatic.

I understand manuals are more common in USA, but a stick allows you to have greater control over your car if you have to bug out, it’s better for pushing other cars, and it’s more fuel efficient, it’s also more rugged from a mechanical point of view.

Look around, wait until something that actually works shows up, and then wait for a few months until you see it actually working on the street, then go for it.

You’ll save lots of money.



Anonymous said...

Nice post.

Is that natural gas? Here in the states, we basically have two choices. Gasoline, currently $4.19-$4.29 (regular), or Diesel ($5.49-5.99).

There are a few douche bags driving around with "POWERED BY BIODIESEL" on the backs of their Jettas, but we know food for fuel isn't the answer.

If gas is getting expensive down there, I'd think all types of fuel would go up in price.

I filled up our propane tank for the grill a month or so ago and the price had nearly doubled in less than 2 years.

Politicians here are blaming speculators, oil companies, etc... too bad none of ever took a course on geology. said...

Yeah, food comes from the supermarkets and gas from the pumps right?

Thats what most people think.

Would your setup work well in northern climates (-40C temps)?

Anonymous said...

ferfal, love reading all your writings. In regard to transportation, beside car and small suv that you comment on, can you also write about other alternative transport experieces like bicycle, moped, motorcycle, and even may be beast of burden in Argentina. So we in the US can make preparation for the day when gas is above $5/gal.

theotherryan said...

Great idea. I am looking at a new car purchase somewhere in the near future and fuel is a big concern

FerFAL said..., As far as I know yes, it works everywhere. We have pretty cold climates here down south and it still works ok. Maybe when it drops too much there's problems but I never heard of any.
Anonymous, bikes and choppers have a problem regarding secuirty. As you may laready know, crime is a big problem here so you don't want to be sitting out in the open much.
Even some people that loved showing off in their cool choppers got rid of them after being robbed several times on the street.

You see many bike and motorcylces but most use them for work.

Bicycles have teh same problem, but since they are teh cheapest form of trasnportation, yes, it is common, tohguh people know the risk.

I have a couple bikes just in case, but its not very safe.

Poor people here still use horses and carts for collecting bottles and paper, these guy areteh poorest people around.
SO yes, it's common to see horses pullign carts full of garbage or recylce material. I guess I see 2 or 3 each day, on average.
Of course its a pain in the but to get stuck behind a darn horse while driving, but well, there's littel to be done about it.


Anonymous said...

FerFal, you rock, brother. THX.


Nels said...

Here in the U.S., this is usually done with propane.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the Yellow Cab company used propane taxis for years. They were still running at -70F, but that is probably because the engine heat kept the propane flowing: propane stops vaporizing at about -40.

The really great thing about using propane or CNG is that the engine runs so clean that your maintenance costs are almost eliminated. Even if you don't save anything on fuel, the conversion can pay for itself.

Bolivarian nut said...

Hi. If the oil companies would have directed their greed to natural gas systems - Propane, Butane and so - the problem there in the US would have not been the size it is, and no need for threatening in South America nor promoting unstable situations. The natural gas is a reliable source, one of the few difficulties with it is the handling but it can be overcomed. So it´s a really nice suggestion. Here in Venezuela we´ve been used to it for a long time but now it´s more focused to fleet cars, public transport and some other vehicles of this kind. Gas is one of the energy sources for the future, there´s plenty almost in every country, but the US Neo-Cons elite and the jewish militarist lobby want to keep their power and wealth, the only way they think they can is through the control of the countries with oil. They´re wrong. They´re loosing power quickly, that´s why they are SCARED.

The Other Mike S. said...

I like the idea of alternatives to gasoline, but CNG is not yet widely available here in the States. A few government vehicles run on them, but I've never seen a CNG station for regular citizens. Propane and diesel are products of oil refining, so as the price of a barrel of oil goes up, so does propane and diesel.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I just would like to know, is there any device to compress home NCG gas to inject into your car?
pls Email me in
thank you

Windshields said...

Can someone tell me the answer and why. Also, i assume avgas wouls be less than car fuel becuse i think there is less oil in it.
And, this is per litre. So per litre of AvGas to Car fuel.