Onboard Dynamics, Inc. initially spun out of a concept that originated at Oregon State University and was funded by Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to address the critical lack of infrastructure to refuel natural gas vehicles. The company developed innovative natural gas compression technology allowing a low-pressure natural gas source to be compressed up to 3600 PSI within an engine platform that runs on natural gas to compress natural gas without the need for electricity.
Their commercialized GoFlo® compressor provides critical, smaller, and more flexible compression solutions for use in the natural gas and renewable natural gas (RNG) industries. Since it does not require electricity, this natural gas-powered system lowers installation and operating costs, facilitates easy mobility and redeployment, and maximizes operating resiliency. In addition, the novel, mobile compressor technology enables natural gas utilities to perform critical pipeline maintenance in their efforts to address methane leakage.
As a former successful ARPA-E awardee, Onboard Dynamics was encouraged to apply to the ARPA-E SCALEUP $75M funding opportunity (FOA) – a new program launched this year by ARPA-E intended to build on their primary R&D focus and to support the scaling of high-risk and potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications.
The company’s preliminary application was one of 32 selected (out of >200 submissions) to move to the Full Application phase. There is a presentation that outlines more information about this FOA and the company’s proposed technology titled “SELF-CONTAINED METHANE TREATMENT & COMPRESSION SYSTEM” which will combine raw gas clean-up and conditioning with the core GoFlo compression technology.
This step of the FOA process requires additional levels of technical, market, and financial model details as well as identifying and securing commercial and financial partner(s) who will actively support field demonstration of the technology and provide financial support.
There is a lot of work to accomplish between now and September 25th when the Full Application is due, but this award is a big opportunity for a small business like Onboard Dynamics because it only requires 20% cost share. In addition, the cost share does not start until the 2nd year of the 3-year program.
On August 11th, Rita presented at Day 1 of the two-day Virtual SCALEUP Workshop to interested commercial and financial partners. Any potential commercial and/or financial partner can register here for funding details.
Watch this video of ARPA-E Technology-to-Market team leaders James Zahler and Mary Yamada talk about the upcoming SCALEUP Virtual Workshop Series, on August 11 & 12.