Evaluation of the Winter Performance of Compressed Natural Gas Refuse Trucks

As new transportation technologies enter the Canadian marketplace, it is important to ensure that they have the ability to perform well in a typical Canadian environment which includes exposure to cold weather in winter and, in some regions, exposure to arctic conditions. Refuse trucks operating on compressed natural gas (CNG) are showing increased penetration in Canada, so it was important to evaluate the winter performance of the current generation of factory-built CNG trucks to:

  • Ensure that satisfactory operation can be achieved in Canadian conditions;
  • Document any areas requiring attention;
  • Document operational best practices; and
  • Better understand any cold weather issues so that fleets considering CNG can benefit from this information.

This work was endorsed by the Deployment Roadmap Technical Advisory Group (TAG), a government/industry group formed to address technical barriers related to medium and heavy natural gas vehicle adoption as outlined in the Natural Gas Use in the Canadian Transportation Sector – Deployment Roadmap.

The primary fleet chosen for winter performance evaluation was a fleet of 18 CNG refuse trucks operated by Groupe EBI in greater Montreal. A secondary source of information was recent cold weather experiences involving 58 CNG refuse trucks operated by Emterra Environmental in Winnipeg.

The evaluation process encompassed a number of areas including vehicle configuration and cold weather aids, vehicle data monitoring, fuel station configurations, and anecdotal fleet experiences. In addition to direct data collection, information was gathered through contact with engine, vehicle, and station equipment suppliers, literature search, and through a site visit.

A full report can be found at: http://goo.gl/h87gKA