Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will fund the demonstration and testing of a new mobile natural gas compressor from Onboard Dynamics that can be used to refuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles regardless of location.
With fewer than 2,000 CNG refueling stations in the U.S., fleets considering the fuel source may feel limited by their options. The mobile compressor allows fleets to produce CNG on-site instead of driving to a retail refueling station or incurring a significant upfront investment in a conventional CNG station. Larger heavy-duty fleet operators who are considering CNG vehicles may also find the mobile compressor useful through the transition.
Onboard's product is fueled by natural gas, and does not require an external electric power source for operation, serving as a reliable backup source during emergency events in which electrical generators are offline.
SoCalGas and Onboard will begin a demonstration project of the technology in the summer of 2017 with Mountain View School District in El Monte, Calif., and Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency in Lancaster, Calif.
Additional funding and support for the development of this compressor was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, ONAMI, Oregon BEST, Portland Seed Fund, and private investors. NW Natural and a number of utilities also contributed funding and support.