Natural gas vehicles or alternative fuel vehicles are increasingly being used in metropolitan and suburban areas and many fleet owners are converting their traditional vehicles to alternative fuel vehicles to save money and to benefit the environment.
From traditional petroleum-based fuels, more and more vehicles are being powered by compressed and liquefied natural gas (CNG and LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and Hydrogen (H2) fuel cells. As a result, fleet managers and vehicle dealers must ensure that their facilities are instrumented with a comprehensive fire and gas detection, alarming, and mitigation system to meet the current code and safety requirements for fueling, maintaining and repairing alternatively fueled vehicles.
Gas Detection and Alarming
Hazardous conditions may arise in facilities due to the buildup of combustible and toxic gases released due to defects or leaks in the vehicles or storage/fueling equipment, or because of human error. A comprehensive gas detection and remediation system is needed to effectively protect assets and personnel within areas such as work bays, fuel/dynamometer buildings, or fueling areas.
Automation and Integration Strategies
Detecting hazardous gases and issuing alarms are important steps, but it is equally important to take remediation actions. For larger facilities, automating these actions through a building management system integrating gas detection, alarms, ventilation systems, and other hazard mitigation mechanisms. This enables gas detection systems to send alarms and notifications to employees while controlling ventilation and ignition sources near the location of the gas discharge.
Codes and Regulations
As these systems are automated, the regulatory agencies require that the systems be “performance approved” and checked on a periodic basis. Major codes governing NGV facilities include but are not limited to:
- NFPA 52 (2013)
Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code
- NFPA 30A (2012)
Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages
- NFPA 88A (2015)
Standard for Parking Structures
- NFPA 70 (2014)
National Electrical Code
- NFPA 59 (2015)
Utility Liquefied Petroleum Plant Code
- International Fire Code
- International Mechanical Code
- International Building Code
Sierra Monitor's Nationally Recognized Testing Lab (NRTL) approved Sentry IT fire and gas solution can ensure the safety and protection of high-value assets and personnel in natural gas vehicle or alternative fuel vehicle maintenance facilities. Sierra Monitor's detectors and controllers that carry the UL 2075 and UL 2017 approvals offer the industry's best Return on Investment (ROI) to the facility manager through innovations that minimize installation, commissioning, calibration, and life cycle maintenance costs. Sierra Monitor's Sentry IT solution is the preferred choice for the diligent and ROI-oriented facility management professional.