Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Onboard Dynamics, Inc. (ObDI) announced the field demonstration of new mobile compressor technology that provides on-site backup and supplemental compression at natural gas fueling stations. The new compressor, called the GoFlo® CNG80, is now being demonstrated at the Antelope Valley School Transportation Agency in Lancaster, California, where 43 natural gas school busses refuel using the fueling station at AVSTA’s fleet yard. SoCalGas and ObDI are partnering to fund the demonstration project to validate the performance of the new mobile compressor, which they expect will further improve on-site refueling for natural gas fleet customers. Photos of the compressor are available here.
“The new GoFlo mobile compressors increase reliability and resilience of natural gas fueling stations by helping mitigate the risk of electric power supply interruption,” said Yuri Freedman, SoCalGas senior director of business development. “This type of equipment will enhance the function of any fueling station and make refueling even easier for fleet operators who fuel with clean natural gas and renewable natural gas.”
“The GoFlo compressor technology provides an affordable and reliable refueling solution for compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet operators that provides additional value to all customers including those with inadequate electric infrastructure or higher electricity rates,” said Rita Hansen, chief executive officer of ObDI. “This technology promises to offer both the backup capability and capacity increases that many CNG fleet operators need today.”
“Antelope Valley schools switched to natural gas buses 36 years ago to help clean our air,” said Mike Breivogel, fleet manager for AVSTA. “Installation of the GoFlo compressor partially offsets use of our aging electric compressor, provides mobile and easily deployable backup capability, increases capacity of our pumps and reduces our operating costs.”
The Antelope Valley School Transportation Agency installation represents the second phase of field demonstration of the new mobile compressor. In the first phase, field testing was conducted and completed at Mountain View School District (MVSD) in South El Monte, California. There, the GoFlo compressor enabled MVSD to improve on-site refueling of eight compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses, reduce vehicle fuel costs and improve driver productivity. The demonstration at MVSD provided information that led to product improvements of the commercial unit that is now running at AVSTA.
The GoFlo compressor uses natural gas instead of electricity to operate, which increases its cost-effectiveness and allows it to provide backup in the event of an existing CNG compressor failure. It is also an economical way to expand CNG refueling capabilities without relying on a connection to an external electric power source to operate.
The mobile CNG compressor helps to fuel CNG fleets of all sizes (e.g., school buses, waste haulers, box trucks, etc.) and helps to reduce operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The availability of a more affordable on-site CNG refueling system is expected to increase overall adoption of natural gas—and renewable natural gas—among fleet operators. Renewable natural gas is produced from the methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing and dairies. Depending on its source, it is either low-carbon or carbon-negative.
Natural gas engines for heavy duty vehicles greatly reduce smog-forming emissions and when renewable natural gas is used as fuel, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by at least 80 percent. Using renewable natural gas in one diesel truck is equivalent to taking 325 cars off the road. This makes renewable natural gas an important tool for reducing emissions from California’s transportation sector, which is responsible for about 40 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80 percent of its smog-forming (NOx) emissions.
Near zero emission natural gas trucks are helping achieve the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals and clean the air around California’s transportation corridors. Because of this, California provides incentive funding to help trucking fleets transition to renewable natural gas. Close to 70 percent of natural gas fleets in California are fueled with renewable natural gas.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company’s pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas is committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2013 through 2017, the company spent nearly $6 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. The company is also committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
About Onboard Dynamics, Inc.
Founded in 2013, Onboard Dynamics is helping lead the clean fuel revolution with the introduction of its GoFlo® CNG80 natural gas compressor. This mobile platform enables fleet managers and others to lower their fuel costs and carbon emission profiles by simplifying the compression of natural gas. Whether it’s in the field, or at the fleet yard, the GoFlo® mobile compressor can accept any low-pressure natural gas or a renewable natural gas source and compress it for use as a cost-effective, clean fuel for vehicles or means of transport. For more, visit ObDI media coverage or connect on Twitter (@OnboardDynamics), Facebook, and LinkedIn.
This article was released by the Southern California Gas Company.