New CNG refueling compressor is cheaper to operate & runs even when the power goes out

Power outages often bring business to a halt at fuel stations which can cripple a fleet fast.

For compressed natural gas (CNG) users, the new GoFlo CNG80 gets around grid failures by using natural gas to power its compressor instead of electricity. The new technology not only keeps a CNG fleet up and running when the lights go out, it also cuts down on cost.

The portable GoFlo CNG80 is currently being tested 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.

Southern California Gas Company and Onboard Dynamics 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.

“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 CNG80 enables fleets to not only get around challenging grid issues, but also to save on operational costs.

“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.”

For AVSTA fleet manager Mike Breivogel, switching to the CNG80 has overcome setbacks brought on by an older fueling system.

“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,” Breivogel said.

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.