The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) today received from the World LP Gas Association (WLPGA) an award for distinguished service in the research and development of propane technology.
WLPGA Managing Director and CEO James Rockall presented the award to PERC Chairman Bill Platz and PERC President and CEO Roy Willis during the WLPGA North American-European Summit, a meeting of global propane leaders and energy experts. The Council manages one of the largest sustained programs of research and development of propane-fueled equipment in the world.
“The award from WLPGA is a testament to the propane industry’s entrepreneurial spirit and its steadfast support for what we do at PERC,” said Willis. “More than a dozen years ago, visionary leaders saw an opportunity to invest collectively in propane innovation. PERC was the result. Today, PERC collaborates with government agencies, equipment manufacturers, university researchers, and safety and training experts to find innovative ways to use propane and train the people who handle it and use it.”
PERC is authorized by Congress to carry out the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996. Its priorities are research and development, training, and safety.
Since beginning operations in 1998, PERC has a strong record of achievements in innovation. The following are among the highlights:
Ã‚Â·The Council helped establish the Global Technology Network in the World LP Gas Association and in 2006 hosted the industry’s first Global Technology Conference in Chicago, which drew participants from more than 40 countries.
Ã‚Â·Research projects funded by the Council have resulted in improved energy efficiency, reduced emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases, and the effective use of heat, steam, and flame to replace chemicals for a more organic harvest.
Ã‚Â·The Council sponsors research on a variety of end-use technologies for distributed generation of electricity, including fuel cells, microturbines, combined heat and power units, and propane-solar hybrid systems.
Ã‚Â·The Council also supports general research concerning fuel quality, fire safety, strategic infrastructure, tank materials and coatings, and comparative analysis of tanks, fittings, valves, and other components essential to the safe transportation, storage, transfer, and use of propane.
Ã‚Â·The Council’s engine fuel programs have resulted in the commercialization of clean, efficient propane-fueled engines and vehicles for both on-road and off-road applications. Areas of concentration for off-road engine fuel research include forklifts, irrigation pumps, generators, ground service equipment, and commercial mowers. On-road engine fuel research is focused on fuel systems for light- and medium-duty vehicles suitable for centrally fueled fleets such as pickup trucks, delivery vans, shuttle buses, and school buses.
Ã‚Â·With support from the Council, propane fuel systems and vehicles have been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. The Council works with the Energy Department’s Clean Cities Coalition to deploy propane autogas vehicles.
Ã‚Â·The Council has enhanced, digitized, and expanded the use of the industry’s workforce training and certification programs.
Ã‚Â·Working with state propane foundations and councils, the Council has helped implement workforce training at the local level.
Ã‚Â·The Council collaborates with industry organizations to provide regulatory compliance education and training, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Transportation Department’s training requirements for new employees.
Ã‚Â·The Council developed and distributed free to every fire department in the United States the Propane Emergencies training program that is now used by 35 state fire-training organizations. The Council sponsors seminars, workshops, and speakers on the Propane Emergencies program at fire service conferences across the country. The program has trained hundreds of thousands of emergency responders and industry personnel.
Ã‚Â·The Council has developed training products specifically for industry employees, emergency responders, homeowners, farmers, fleet operators, mechanics, construction professionals, and non-industry personnel who handle propane or dispense it to the public. The Council has an ongoing program to provide safety messages to the more than 50 million consumers who regularly use propane for outdoor grilling. Council-produced consumer safety materials are available on the Internet at www.propanecouncil.org, www.usepropane.com, and many other websites frequented by propane consumers.
Ã‚Â·The Council’s safety products have been presented to the Defense Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Chemical Safety Board, and numerous public and private organizations for their use.