Conformable Compressed Natural Gas Tank
REL Inc., Calumet, Michigan, and Eck Industries, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Material: 7075 aluminum.
Process: Low pressure casting.
Weight: 71.4 lbs.
Dimensions: 11.25 x 11.25 x 20.25 in. (quarter-scale model).
Application: Storage of compressed natural gas on automobiles and trucks.
• This conformable tank can store 20-25% more compressed natural gas than a cylinder due to better use of the allowable packaging space.
• To store high pressure without a spherical or cylindrical shape, the inner structure of the vessel must carry the load, so REL designed the tank using the Schwartz P-Surface cell design. The cell walls act as struts and carry a tensile load, keeping the tank intact.
• The tank operates at 3,600 psi yet must withstand a burst of pressure of 8,100 psi and tens of thousands of cyclical loads.
• REL teamed with Eck Industries to cast 7075 aluminum using printed sand cores and fixed walls coated with proprietary thermal barrier technology, filled on a low pressure casting machine.