REL, Inc. and Michigan Technological University (MTU) were awarded a $2.1-million, three-year investment from Southwestern Energy Company (SWN) of Houston, Texas. The project resulting from REL’s research and subsequent development of the Matrix Tank in ARPA-E’s MOVE Program, charges an interdisciplinary team of REL engineers and Michigan Tech researchers with designing, fabricating and testing a conformable, compressed natural gas tank for use in light-duty trucks.
The Quarterly Status Review included progress reports from the engineers at MTU who are charged with tank integration and modeling and materials optimization. REL, who has taken the lead in the development and manufacturing of the high pressure CNG storage tank, showcased their most recent developments in both their innovative casting technologies and in-house tank testing areas.
Highlights from the REL report included reaching the critical burst pressure milestone of the Matrix Tank, a demonstration of the field addition casting cell, and most notably, the first CNG leak check of the Matrix Tank in REL’s Burst Pressure Chamber. (picture below) The new Burst Pressure Chamber was completely engineered, designed, and built by REL to expedite in-house testing of the REL’s and 3rd Party CNG tanks. For more information, contact Adam Loukus at email@example.com.
The Matrix Tank, developed by REL, is being integrated onto a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado. The two-phase project has advanced ahead of schedule and has already achieved a significant milestone as a prototype tank has been modeled, designed and fitted to the underside of the test vehicle.
SWN has thrived because of a deep commitment to providing the energy that powers our world. Currently the fourth largest producer of natural gas in the US Lower 48, Southwestern Energy Company is a growing independent energy company primarily engaged in natural gas and crude oil exploration, development and production. Their investment into the development and integration of the Matrix Tank and their commitment to the partnership with REL and MTU, will help ensure the ultimate success of this revolutionary technology.