Listen to the sound of CNG

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Have you ever had the good ears to listen to the sound of Compressed Natural Gas? Probably not. I want to share with you a story about how you can hear the voice of CNG.

I want you to meet Paul Calderon.

One of the most talented engineers that I’ve met, a really interesting person, a good friend of mine, and the only person I’ve seen that can hear CNG.

The first story is from about three years ago. In Mexico, we were walking around one of the biggest CNG stations in the country, right in the city of Querétaro and as we were walking about 20 feet away of the compressor area which is divided by a wire fence, and suddenly Paul grabbed my arm.

Paul and I were standing in the red cross pictured below, and he pointed to me in the direction of the pipeline marked with the green circle.

The compressors were kind of loud, all five of them. I said – What?. He replies cutting right to the chase – There is a gas leak. I asked him back, – Did you smell something? And he answered – No, come with me.

There was no sound at all but we sent a team to check every piece of the low-pressure pipeline that was placed about 25 feet away from the place he first mentioned the leak. And then the technicians found something.

There was a leak in a threaded union. A leak so small that a bubble took about 30 seconds to be visible. At that point, I asked. How did you know?. He said – I just heard it. I was blown away.

In the middle of a crowded CNG station, with 5 units running, he heard it? To this day I find it mind-boggling. My good friend has an ultrasonic leak detector embedded in his ears. And it was amazing that Paul, an Electrical Engineer and now CNG Maintenance Manager had such a talent.

He showed me that day that it is always important to listen to the sound of CNG, and that also, very few people had the skill to hear it.

More… in the second part of the story.

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