NGV Fueling Checklist
For residential customers that wish to fuel their compressed natural vehicles at home by installing a vehicle fueling appliance (VFA), knowledge of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 52 Chapter 10 is helpful to understand how codes may be applied to their project.
The following is a VFA checklist provided by Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition as a courtesy summary of code items for residential customers that may be used in discussions with vendors, contractors and code officials prior to starting a project. Clean Cities makes no representation that this summary is complete and up to date. Code officials in your jurisdiction including the fire marshal have the final authority for code interpretation, occupancy, permits and inspection.
- Maximum capacity is 300 standard cubic feet per hour (SCFH). That is approximately 3 therms per hour or 2.38 Gasoline Gallons Equivalent per hour.
- No storage is allowed. That means no buffer or storage tanks can be connected to the unit. Vehicle tanks do not count.
- VFA name shall be listed. For example, CSA-US stamped on the nameplate of the appliance meets natural gas and ETL/UL requirements see: http://www.csagroup.org/us/en/about-csa-group/certification-marks-labels/search-csa-marks .
- Protection from damage or vandalism should be provided. For example, if it is in a driveway it needs to have bollards to protect it from being hit by a vehicle.
- The appliance must be installed on firm non-combustible support. Typically the manufacturer will provide guidelines in the installation manual.
- No venting of natural gas under normal conditions should be allowed. However, limited venting of the fill line is expected when disconnecting from your vehicle.
- The appliance must be installed per manufacturer’s recommendations. It is important to have an installation and owner’s manual.
- Emergency VFA disconnect must be located minimum 5 feet from the VFA. For example, a weather proof switch to disconnect power.
- Breakaway fittings are required on hose. With 150 Lb. force applied the fueling hose should breakaway the appliance safely.
- All bleed connections, valves that depressurize the system, shall lead to a safe point of discharge with no impediment on buildings. For example, do not vent toward the building or direct up into an overhang or soffit.
- All safety relief devices shall be maintained and certified per manufacturer’s recommendations. Relief devices must be recertified per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Tanks on board the vehicle must be recertified after a certain period of time and taken out of commission at the end of the manufacturer’s specified life of the appliance.
- In some jurisdictions (Washington), a VFA is allowed in the garage with certain requirements however, this placement is not allowed in Oregon.
- Residential customers who install a VFA are required to notify the local distribution company (i.e., NW Natural, Avista, or Cascade).
- Consult your local building codes department for electrical and mechanical permits and inspections.
- Federal and state road and motor vehicle fuel taxes are your responsibility to file and pay. Consult with your local authorities for the proper forms to file and how payment should be made.