Utility Is to Test Self-Powered Mobile Natural Gas Compressor
Southern California Gas reported a contract with Onboard Dynamics to fund the demonstration and testing of the Oregon start-up’s mobile natural gas compressor that can be used to fuel compressed natural gas vehicles “no matter where they are.”
Onboard Dynamics has developed a design that lets a portion of a natural gas-fueled engine serve as a compressor for natural gas. In addition to self-powered compressors, the scheme holds potential for natural gas vehicles that can compress their own fuel (F&F, April 26, 2016).
The concept “reduces the need for CNG cars and trucks to travel to public CNG stations and instead brings clean-burning natural gas refueling to the vehicles.”
‘Cost-Effective and Convenient’
“This mobile technology provides a cost-effective and convenient refueling solution for smaller CNG operators,” SoCalGas customer solutions and communications VP Lisa Alexander said in a release.
“This, in turn, may lead to an accelerated adoption of CNG, which would contribute to improved air quality and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to petroleum-based fuels,” she said.
Capacity Boost, or Backup
Because it is self-powered, the Onboard Dynamics compressor can act as a capacity boost for existing CNG compressor stations or as a reliable backup source during emergency events in which electrical generators are offline.
“Our technology can potentially reduce CNG production costs, increase efficiency, improve reliability and lower criteria emissions compared to previous engine-driven products,” Onboard Dynamics CEO Rita Hansen says in the SoCalGas funding announcement.
SoCalGas and Onboard Dynamics are to begin a demonstration project of the technology in the summer of 2017 with Mountain View School District in El Monte, Calif. and the Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency in Lancaster, Calif.
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Source: SoCalGas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up