DIT and Bord Gáis Networks Trial Natural Gas Vehicle


L to R; Mark Holohan National Sales Manager, Bord Gáis Networks; Dr Mike Murphy, Dean and Director of College of Engineering and Built Environment; David Hanahoe Gas Applications Engineer, Bord Gáis Networks and Declan Allen Head of Department, Transport Engineering

23 April 2013:  Bord Gáis Networks has partnered with DIT to conduct a two-month trial of a natural gas vehicle (NGV); currently the only vehicle of its type in Ireland.  Bord Gáis Networks is developing the application of natural gas as an alternative, greener transport fuel to reduce Ireland’s commercial dependency on oil and diversify the energy mix within the Irish transport system.

Natural gas as a transport fuel, known as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), is used across the world, with over 14 million NGVs in 2012.  Europe has seen annual growth of over 11%, where CNG is replacing traditional fuels in large, high polluting vehicles such as buses and trucks. This growth of NGVs is driven by a number of important factors, in particular the economic and environmental benefits. CNG is typically 30% to 60% cheaper than traditional fuels (petrol or diesel) and CNG significantly reduce emissions including Carbon Dioxide, Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Oxide.


Mercedes Sprinter 316 NGT van on DIT’s rolling road.

The vehicle on trial is a Mercedes Sprinter 316 NGT van with a manufacturer fitted natural gas powered engine with petrol backup. Bord Gáis Networks is providing the vehicle to DIT for the duration of the trial, with the possibility of extending the testing period. CNG is made by compressing natural gas (which is mainly composed of methane, CH4), to less than 1% of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric. It is stored and distributed in cylinders at a pressure of 200–248 bar placed under the vehicle.

Declan Allen Head of Department Transport Engineering is delighted that the staff and students in the Department of Transport Engineering will have this opportunity to run trials to increase their understanding of the vehicle’s capabilities. He said DIT will design and conduct a number of technical rolling-road trials including road tests (both laden and un-laden) as well as driver perception.

Tests will include…

  • Fuel Economy
  • RangePower/Torque Outputs
  • Emissions
  • Driveability



Dr. Mike Murphy Dean and Director of College of Engineering and Built Environment at the wheel of the Mercedes Sprinter 316 NGT.

Dr. Mike Murphy, Director and Dean of the College of Engineering and Built Environment, also welcomed the opportunity for DIT to partner with Bord Gáis Networks in these trials of their CNG powered vehicle.  Mark Holohan of Bord Gáis Networks said he is looking forward to receiving the technical report from DIT and is confident that the data will provide independent validation of the benefits and savings of CNG for commercial operators considering investment in a more environmentally friendly and cost efficient option for their transport fleet.

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