23 Utilizing Existing Standby Power Gensets for DG

Standby engine-generator sets in industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings are a significant potential source of distributed generation. These units typically operate only a few hours per year for testing, and during utility power outages, which typically total a few more hours. According to the GRI, standby units may represent up 40 GW of generating capacity in the U.S. Conversion of a substantial share of these idle investments into revenue-producing assets might offer a quick start to DG for buildings in the U.S.

Already, some utilities recruit customers with standby generators for peak load reduction programs, offering payments or rate relief for limited operation during peak periods. Most standby generator sets are installed according to building code requirements and are designed to carry critical electric loads during outages. Facilities such as hospitals, computer centers, and manufacturing plants with critical high-value processes often have substantial standby generation capacity. Diesel engines are the power sources of choice for standby because of their low first cost. At present, emissions regulations are a substantial barrier to the use of these engines for distributed power.

Dual-fuel retrofit technology may pave the way for more usage of existing standby units for distributed power. This approach builds on the inherently high BMEP of diesel engines while incorporating the clean combustion, low fuel price and convenience of natural gas. The shaft efficiency of lean-burn, dual-fuel, or micropilot engines generally ranges from 36 to 40%. The engines usually retain the ability to run on diesel fuel alone in case the gas supply is interrupted.

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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