Invitation for Public Comment

[March 30, 2000]

March 31 - May 1, 2000
Under the Propane Education & Research Council's grant review process, the public is invited to comment on funding requests received by the Council.

The grant review cycles are scheduled in relationship with Council meetings. Funding requests under review during this comment period will be considered by the Council at its June 20-21 meeting in Washington, D.C.

What follows are summaries of the funding requests. Copies of individual funding requests can be obtained by calling 202-452-8975. Comments (including the docket #) should be submitted in writing no later than May 1, 2000 to:

Propane Education & Research Council
Attention: Public Comment
1776 K Street, N.W., Suite 204
Washington, D.C. 20006
202-452-9054 (fax)

10259 Grant (Research & Development)
Applicant: Southwest Research Institute
Short Title: Propane-Fueled Off-Road Engine and Tractor Development
Amount Requested: $400,558.00
Total Cost: $456,558.00
Summary: A propane-fueled heavy duty engine prototype will be developed for agricultural tractor and other off-road applications. The engine will be based on the John Deere 4.5L diesel engine, and will utilize existing technology from the John Deere PowerTech CNG engine product line as well as the latest technology in liquid propane fuel injection and fuel storage tanks. The resulting engine will have a power rating of approximately 70 hp, and will be a low emissions engine capable of meeting the proposed EPA off-road standards for 2004. The new engine and fuel system will be integrated into a John Deere 5410 agricultural tractor. The engine and vehicle integration will be conducted to reflect a production-like configuration. At the conclusion of the project, the tractor will be available to be placed into a suitable location for a demonstration program.

10263 Grant (Research & Development)
Applicant: Gas Plants, Inc.
Short Title: Prototype development of Propane Fuel Supply Equipment for Microturbine Generators.
Amount Requested: $278,000.00
Total Cost: $419,250.00
Summary: Microturbine generators are currently being developed as 'distributed generation' technology. The potential annual U.S. market for microturbine generators is expected to grow substantially over the next few years to an estimated total of 30,000 to 100,000 units in the sizes of 30 to 150 kWe by 2006. Five to 15% of the total market is likely to be fueled by propane, resulting in a potential new market for propane of 140,000,000 gal/yr to 450,000,000 gal/yr by 2006.

While the potential market for propane fuel in microturbines is large, there has been no propane equipment developed or tested to meet the unique requirements of these units. Gas Plants is proposing to develop vaporizing equipment specifically for the microturbine generators being developed by the four U.S. manufacturers. The vaporizing equipment will meet the specific requirements of these microturbine generators being developed. This program will develop working prototype vaporizers for all types and sizes of microturbine generators being developed.

10264 Grant (Consumer Education)
Applicant: National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project
Short Title: Energizing Education
Amount Requested: $25,000.00
Total Cost: $1,007,140.00
Summary: The mission of the NEED Project is to promote an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs. NEED's goal is to provide the next generation with the knowledge, leadership training, and critical thinking skills necessary to enable it to make responsible energy decisions. The NEED Project's non-biased information on all aspects of energy, including production, consumption, and economic and environmental effects, gives students an understanding of the interrelationship between energy, the economy and the environment. Many of NEED's activities provide students with a vehicle to directly affect the attitudes and behaviors of their communities.

10267 Grant (Research & Development)
Applicant: Texas Railroad Commission, Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division Short Name: LP-Gas for Weed and Nematode Control in Agriculture (Year 2)
Amount Requested: $316,683.00
Total Cost: $523,306.00
Summary: The four field crops of corn, sorghum, soybeans and cotton account for approximately 175 million acres annually in the U.S. If only 10 percent of this acreage, or 17.5 million acres, were converted to flame weed control, this would open up new warm-weather markets for LP-gas of from 85 million to 140 million gallons annually.

AFRED proposes to coordinate the second year of a proposed three-year, multidisciplinary flame weed control research program by Texas, Mississippi, and Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations to meet the immediate and long-range needs for the thermal weed and pathogen control in agriculture. Specific objectives of the research are to improve the effectiveness of thermal control of weeds and nematodes in agriculture and to verify control efficiency and cost of flame weed and nematode control under actual cropping conditions. Year 2 work will emphasize field trials of new technologies in cropping systems applicable to agricultural areas in most parts of the U.S.

10268 Grant (Research & Development)
Applicant: DeLima Associates
Short Title: High Efficiency Integrated Space and Water Heating System for Manufactured Homes
Amount Requested: $293,000.00
Total Cost: $1,440,455.00
Summary: The DeLima Associates' team consisting of prominent consultants, a manufactured home builder and a manufacturer of HVAC equipment for manufactured homes is submitting a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy to provide partial funding for a project to develop an integrated gas-fired space conditioning and water heating system for HUD-Code manufactured housing. This application is for partial funding from PERC.

Our proposed concept combines proven components in a low-cost package that addresses the space heating/cooling, air supply/return, air filtration/exchange, sensible/latent temperature control and domestic water heating. The integrated package uses hot water from a propane-fired water heater to provide both domestic (potable) hot water and space heating.

10269 Grant (Research & Development)
Applicant: Mutual Liquid Gas & Equipment Company, Inc.
Short Title: ProCon: Propane Conversion Promotion Consortium
Amount Requested: $150,000.00
Total Cost: $200,000.00
Summary: Members of the propane industry have formed ProCon to expedite the commercialization of low emission propane conversion kits. This project will provide the industry support, funding and resources needed to spur the manufacturing and commercialization of much needed conversion kits for several engine families.

The members of the consortium plan to issue an RFP for the commercialization of EPA/CARB certified engine conversion kits. Members of ProCon will prepare and issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the commercialization of specific engine family conversion kits. The responses to the RFP will be evaluated, and the group will provide funding and expert assistance to the most promising of the proposals.

10270 Grant (Research & Development)
Applicant: National Propane Gas Association
Short Title: Risk Assessment of Federal Hours of Service Regulations Reforms
Amount Requested: $118,082.00
Total Cost: $118,082.00
Summary: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation is currently preparing to propose new rules governing driver hours of service. The existing rules have not been changed in more than 60 years. NPGA will be taking an active role in this rulemaking and needs the highest possible level of support for any requested changes. To this end, NPGA proposes to contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to conduct a detailed study and risk assessment (1) to determine how the current HOS regulations impact business operations; (2) to assess the impact of the proposed requirements in the HOS rulemaking; and (3) to assist NPGA in commenting on the proposed rulemaking.