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By Tucker Gilman
Otherlab has designed a high-pressure storage vessel that increases volumetric energy density, geometric conformability of tank, and offers inherent safety advantages over existing tanks, with simple low-cost manufacturing methods.
Short description of your technology
The US uses roughly 20 million barrels of oil per day. Only 5 million of those are domestically produced. Shifting the automotive fleet to run on natural gas would lower US dependence on foreign oil, lower the US trade deficit, and significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced per mile travelled. Based on the simple insight that tank mass is not a function of cylinder diameter, we have designed an intestine-like tank that packs into unique geometries. Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) engineers can more easily integrate this tank into vehicle designs as there are few space specific requirements-- any geometry can be filled. Natural gas vehicles produce roughly half as much carbon dioxide per mile as gasoline vehicles of equivalent size. A fuel shift away from imported oil and towards domestically produced natural gas would make a very important contribution to energy independence.
What is the key element of your technology that differentiates it from existing solutions
Our tank is cheaper, lighter, more space efficient, and allows drastically greater design flexibility for integrated NGV manufacturers. This technology is not a single design, but a conceptual development that allows for myriad tank designs specific to vehicle requirements. The lower burst energy inherently makes this tank design fail-safe compared to existing tanks - an important consideration in vehicular applications. We are currently developing a type I metal tank, and a type IV composite tank.