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Conrad LNG Announces First LNG Bunkering Barge Built in North America

 

 courtesy of GTTNA

LCF Member, Conrad LNG is pleased to announce that the Clean Jacksonville – the first LNG bunkering barge ever built in North America – will be delivered to TOTE Maritime in spring of this year. As the first of its kind, this 2,200m3 capacity LNG barge will operate out of the Port of Jacksonville, Florida, supplying TOTE’s two Marlin-class gas-powered container vessels currently running on clean burning natural gas on its Puerto Rican trade route. Conrad was fortunate to work with multiple esteemed industry leaders on this historic endeavor - including TOTE Maritime, Clean Marine Energy (CME), GTT NA, and Bristol Harbor Group.  For more information on the barge project, please visit:

For questions or inquiries, please contact Beau Berthelot at bjberthelot@conradindustries.com.

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Platooning Trucks to Cut Cost and Improve Efficiency

At first glance, platooning doesn’t look like much – just a few tractor-trailers driving down the highway a bit closer together than we’re used to. But, what is actually happening is much more complex and presents the opportunity for significant safety, energy efficiency, and cost benefits. Early studies have shown that 65% of current long-haul truck miles could potentially be platooned, reducing total truck fuel consumption by 4%.

 

 Photo Credit: Department of Transportation

What is Platooning?

So, what is truck platooning? Platooning involves the use of vehicle-to-vehicle communications and sensors, such as cameras and radar, to virtually connect two or more trucks together in a convoy. The virtual link enables all of the vehicles in the platoon to communicate with each other, allowing them to automatically accelerate together, brake together, and enables them to follow each other at a closer distance than is typically possible with unlinked trucks.

The technology detects and reacts to stopped or slow vehicles ahead of the platoon and adjusts as needed when a vehicle cuts in between the trucks in the platoon. With current platooning technology, each truck in the platoon has a human driver responsible for steering and taking over the speed and braking as needed. The driver of the first truck leads the platoon and navigates the route. As the technology improves, there may only be the need for a lead driver, or no human drivers at all.

Why do it?

Truck platooning could provide many benefits. When implemented, platooning can improve safety, increase energy efficiency, and reduce costs.

Truck platooning technology includes automatic braking. The automatic brakes are able to react much faster than a human, improving safety and reducing the likelihood of collisions. Truck platoons also take up less space on the road, and experience fewer short or sudden acceleration and braking events, than unlinked trucks. The trucks travelling closer together at smoother speeds improves traffic flow and boosts the efficiency of delivering goods.

Platooning is also a cost saver. With the trucks driving close together at a constant speed, the lead vehicle cuts through the air and reduces the amount of air hitting the front of, and flowing between, the following vehicles. This is similar to when race cars or cyclists draft off one another in a race. The reduced aerodynamic drag on all of the vehicles in the platoon means that the trucks use less fuel, which reduces operating costs.

The U.S. Army is interested in platooning technologies for the potential to reduce the number of lives at risk in combat areas. Using platooning technologies in military applications could minimize the number of soldiers needed to man convoy vehicles, resulting in a reduced number of soldiers at risk of encountering roadside bombs.

Coordinated Research

The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office’s (VTO) Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) Program coordinates with the U.S Army and the Department of Transportation (DOT) in this shared space to accelerate research and development. DOT’s mission is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system. DOT sees platooning as one way to improve the safety of trucking through collision avoidance features. VTO is interested in the potential to improve energy efficiency and cut costs for businesses and consumers through this technology.

VTO’s EEMS Program is investigating the potential impact platooning technology could have on energy use in our transportation system. Recent EEMS research done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory used telematics, or on-board data logging, to estimate the amount of platoonable miles travelled by trucks and found 65% of the miles could be platooned, resulting in a 4% reduction in total truck fuel consumption. Another recent VTO funded study assessed the energy impact of adaptive cruise control and showed that the middle truck in a platoon saves the most at shorter gaps, while the trailing truck saves the most at longer gaps.

To learn more about the Department's work on connected and automated vehicle technologies, visit the Energy Efficient Mobility Systems page on Vehicle Technologies Office website.

 

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New Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator Launched

Most Complete Online Resource Determines Best Cost-Effective Emissions Reduction
Options for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Under VW Settlement Funds

Washington, DC – Today Argonne National Laboratory launched the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator (HDVEC) at a presentation at FedFleet 2018 in Washington, DC, the nation’s largest gathering of public fleet managers sponsored by the U.S. General Services Administration.

This online resource was created to provide state officials and fleet managers with an accurate tool to gauge emissions reductions across various medium- and heavy-duty vehicle project options affiliated with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement. NGVAmerica welcomes the HDVEC tool as reflecting current vehicle availability and emissions performance data and congratulates Argonne on its success.

“As public officials begin to evaluate how best to clean their state’s air with their allotted VW Trust funding, this resource will prove vital in evaluating cost-effectiveness of real world vehicle options,” said Andrew Burnham of Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research. “The Vehicle Emissions Calculator is a valuable tool for policymakers, fleet managers and procurement administrators alike as they look to compare vehicle technologies for emissions reductions associated with fleet operations.”

Available at: http://afleet-web.es.anl.gov/hdv-emissions-calculator and linked at NGVAmerica’s website at: http://www.ngvamerica.org/vwactioncenter/, the HDVEC estimates the vehicle operation nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) as well as the well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of current commercially-available alternative fuel medium- and heavy-duty vehicles eligible for funding under the VW settlement.

Volkswagen’s $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust fund provides each state an incredible opportunity to make an immediate and tangible impact on air quality
by targeting medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the leading source of these toxic air contaminants in almost every metropolitan area.

“Heavy-duty vehicles are the fastest growing segment of U.S. transportation in terms of energy use and emissions, and HDVs are major emitters of NOx, diesel particulate matter, and greenhouse gases,” said NGVAmerica President Daniel Gage. “Mobile sources account for 50 percent of America’s smog-precursor emissions like NOx. This calculator demonstrates that allocating funds to deploy low-NOx natural gas vehicles provides the best way to deliver immediate and cost-effective NOx reductions and air quality benefit.”

The tool can calculate results for three project types allowable under the Trust Settlement:

• Environmental Mitigation with Scrappage – new alternative fuel versus diesel, plus additional benefit from early retirement of the scrapped vehicle.

• Environmental Mitigation with Repower – vehicle after repower versus diesel before repower.

• Clean Vehicle Replacement – new alternative fuel versus diesel.

The HDVEC was developed using Argonne’s Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation Tool (AFLEET) available at: https://greet.es.anl.gov/afleet.

AFLEET Tool 2017 uses emissions data from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) and Argonne’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) models. This week marks the deadline for the VW Trustee to designate or certify Beneficiary Status for the States and the start of when states can begin to file settlement funding spending plans. Funds could be available for distribution as early as March, pending approval of state plans.

For more information on the most cost-effective investment of VW Trust resources for the most NOx emissions reductions attained, visit: http://www.ngvamerica.org/vwactioncenter/.

NGVAmerica is a national organization of over 200 companies, environmental groups, and government organizations dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas or biomethane and for using more natural gas in on-road and off-road transportation. NGVAmerica member companies produce, distribute, and market natural gas and biomethane across North America, manufacture and service natural gas vehicles, engines, and equipment, and operate fleets powered by clean-burning gaseous fuels. Find out more at: www.ngvamerica.org.

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