Natural gas vehicles can be refueled at refueling stations in the same way as diesel and gasoline vehicles. There are more than 1,200 CNG stations in the United States, including public and private fleet stations.
A typical CNG station consists of a compressor, gas dryer, storage tank, dispenser and subway piping. In most cases, a CNG station is created by connecting a fuel compressor to the nearest subway natural gas distribution network.
There are two types of CNG stations: instant-fill and storage. The instantaneous filling stations connect directly the natural gas distribution network with the vehicle by means of a compressor that will increase the pressure of the natural gas from the existing pressure in the network, usually between 2 and 5 bar pressure and 160 bar pressure in the vehicle,
and its filling speed will depend on the pressurization capacity of the compressor, being the model as electric vehicles with batteries connected to a charger for several hours.
The CNG stations that have storage perform the pressurization in two or three stages storing the pressurized gas at intermediate pressures, these can supply fuel to several vehicles in the same space for a shorter period of time, with a greater autonomy and more frequently. At these stations, pressure jumps are reduced and accelerated, this eliminates the need for drivers to queue for a limited number of fuel pumps, minimizes labor costs and allows full refueling at pressures up to 3,600 psi.
Most common for CNG fueling stations in the United States with retail service are stations with storage. However, for fleets that return to an overnight point at the end of the day, instant refueling points are common due to the lower value of the compression equipment.