Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has chosen Onboard Dynamics to be among the 54 organizations invited to participate in its first-ever Innovation Pitch Fest. The event is an initiative focused on bridging the gap between today’s energy system and California’s electrified and decarbonized future. The new initiative features nearly 70 challenges and opportunities for R&D around six key themes – gas innovations, undergrounding, electric vehicles, integrated grid planning, wildfire innovations, and supply and load management.
Onboard Dynamics was chosen to present their product, the GoVAC® MAX system, in the gas innovations section. This innovative system addresses PG&E’s problem statement to reduce transmission pipeline blowdown methane emissions whereas current technologies to abate blowdown emissions are costly, resource intensive to implement, and require heavy equipment. The GoVAC® MAX system is a mobile, scalable and efficient cross-compression solution with unique automated data collection and reporting of captured and recovered natural gas.
The novel design of the GoVAC® MAX system
The GoVAC® MAX system is a self-contained natural gas capture and recovery solution with a novel integrated engine/compressor design making the system more portable and maneuverable than other natural gas-powered pipeline evacuation systems of comparable throughput. The system is built on patented compression technology that runs on a small portion of the natural gas that is being evacuated in the pipeline. Operating on natural gas reduces the emission profile to a minimum and removes the need for additional equipment and resources during natural gas capture and recovery projects. The system touts a small footprint making it easy to fit into challenging locations and is nimble enough to be pulled by a standard pickup making it highly maneuverable around a job site. With its novel patented stage skipping technology, it is robust enough to offer high flow rates and variable inlet/outlet pressure. Systems can also be pooled together when there is a need to scale for even larger projects.
The GoVAC® MAX control system provides automated data capture, remote monitoring and ensures safe and tamper-proof transmission, data storage and secure access. Accurate and validated environmental and operational reporting on key metrics are available to the operators both on site and remote and have the option of 3rd party certification. This digitized evacuation capability will enable PG&E to fulfill current and future regulations and environmental initiatives.
About the PG&E Innovation Pitch Fest
PG&E evaluated more than 600 applications to participate in Pitch Fest and selected just 54 organizations to participate. During the Pitch Fest, each organization had 15 minutes to present their respective solution to PG&E decision-makers. Successful pitches have the potential to lead to a range of follow-on engagements with PG&E, including but not limited to direct partnership and grant opportunities.
The Innovation Pitch Fest was held from Sept.12-14, in San Ramon, Calif.