Bad Camberg: Anyone who wants to have portable π-gas cylinders (so-called fuel gas containers) refilled in Germany still has to replace the entire cylinder. Behind this is the regulation that refilling may only be done by companies certified for this purpose. Operators of mobile food stalls and motor home drivers have to remove and install the entire gas cylinder each time. This is a not inconsiderable effort that also entails certain risks.
This is now different in Switzerland: at the instigation of the GAGT (German Association for Gas Technology) chaired by Peter Ziegler, an onboard refilling solution was developed together with Kaspar Seiler from the Federal Office of Transport in Bern, which may be used in Switzerland since January 2021. This means that operators of mobile snack stands and motor home drivers can now refuel LPG themselves at any filling station. This solution was made possible by the new CE cylinders from the company ALUGAS. These are equipped with a so-called multi-valve that is connected to a filling nozzle permanently installed on the vehicle.
The basis for the new Swiss regulation is the explanatory appendix to article 49 paragraph 5 of the Ordinance on Technical Requirements for Road Vehicles (VTS) in the guideline “Safe use of liquid gas – installation of gas tanks and gas tank cylinders in motor homes and caravans” of September 2020. “We only had to supplement the existing regulations with this explanation in order to achieve legal security for all sides for the refuelling of CE cylinders”, says Kaspar Seiler. This explanatory appendix can be read on page 4 of the guide.
Peter Ziegler, chairman of the GAGT, now also hopes that the German authorities will see sense and adopt the Swiss regulations soon. “The Swiss legislator has shown how easy it can be to implement a solution for the independent refuelling of fuel gas containers that is simple and safe for all parties involved,” says Ziegler.