What Is The Future Of Fuel Cells

Distributed Generation: An Introduction

Anne-Marie Borbely and Jan F. Kreider


1.1 Electricity Production:

Distributed — Centralized — Distributed Again

1.1.1 Regulatory Restructuring

1.1.2 De-Integration of Vertical Stages

1.1.3 Convergence of Utility Companies

1.1.4 Globalization

1.2 Electric Utility Assets

1.2.1 The U.S. Transmission System

1.2.2 Utility Choices and Deregulation

1.2.3 Transmission Loading Relief (TLR)

1.2.4 U.S. Power Generation Assets Non Utility-Owned Power Generation

1.2.5 Double Counting — How Much Is Really Out There?

1.2.6 What Price Power?

1.3 The Natural Gas Industry

1.3.1 Restructuring and Competition

1.3.2 The Future of North American Gas Supplies

1.3.3 The Future of Natural Gas Supplies

1.4 The Distributed Generation Technologies

1.4.1 Internal Combustion Engines

1.4.2 Microturbines

1.4.3 Photovoltaics

1.4.4 Fuel Cells

1.5 Matching the Load: Buildings and Industrial Processes 1.5.1 Commercial Buildings Buildings Disaggregated by Building Type and Floor Space End Use Consumption by Task Commercial Energy Consumption and Intensity by Principal Building Activity (1995) Energy Consumption by Fuel Type

1.5.2 The Industrial Sector

1.5.3 Residential Buildings

1.6 Economic Considerations

1.7 Environmental Issues

1.7.1 Background

1.7.2 Regulatory Setting Federal Regulations National Environmental Policy Act Other Federal Regulations State Regulations Air Quality Environmental Impacts of Government Decisions Local Environmental Regulations

1.7.3 Broad Policy Issues Ozone and Particulate Matter Attainment Global Warming Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

1.7.4 Environmental Attributes of DG Technologies

1.7.5 Other Environmental Drivers

1.8 Communications and Controls Technologies

1.8.1 Distributed Intelligence

1.8.2 Enabling Technologies Distributed Control Distributed Computing Embedded Hardware


This chapter is designed to provide a brief overview of the converging trends in the energy industry today — regulatory, economic, and technical — that make distributed generation (DG) such a compelling business case. Due to the pervasive, entrenched position of electric utilities in the United States (and other developed countries), however, this is not always an open playing field. The forces that created the contemporary U.S. electricity system continue to exert a profound influence on our perceptions of what is possible as both energy providers and consumers.

The term distributed generation is defined in this book as power generation technologies below 10 MW electrical output that can be sited at or near the load they serve. For this reason, not all small-scale technologies are included here. Hydro- and wind-powered generators are too fuel-dependent (i.e., their location is dictated by the availability of moving water or wind) to be considered truly load-sited or distributed generation.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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