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EcoGeneration Solutions LLC. Companies
E-mail:    info @ cogeneration . net      Tel. (832) 758-0027
Cooler, Cleaner, Greener Power & Energy Solutions

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Volatile Organic Compounds
www.VolatileOrganicCompounds.com

As a "Turnkey Provider of "EcoGeneration" Solutions such as Cogeneration, Trigeneration and Distributed Generation Technologies, we provide turnkey project development that results in Cooler, Cleaner, Greener Power and Energy Systems that eliminates/reduces pollution as well as Hazardous Air Pollutants ("HAPs") and Volatile Organic Compounds ("VOCs"). Our sustainable fuels and energy supplies include those that generate a REC, or Renewable Energy Credit for our clients.  Examples of these biofuels and energy resources include; B100 Biodiesel, E100 Ethanol, Biomethane and Solar Trigeneration.

Now is the time for cities, municipal and governmental clients to consider having our company install dispersed generation power plants to avoid the coming electricity shortages and grid congestion problems! We can help your city or community create a Municipal Utility District or Public Utility District that may then qualify for our very competitively priced energy and electricity rates.

Renewable Energy Technologies provides project development services related to biomethane produced in anaerobic digesters,

The process by which BioMethane is produced is referred to as biomethanation. Biomethane is generated in economically and environmentally-rewarding quantities from Anaerobic Digesters, Anaerobic Lagoons, Biomass Gasification, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Landfill Gas to Energy, and other Methane Gas Recovery systems.  

Unlike most companies, we are equipment supplier/vendor neutral. This means we help our clients select the best equipment for their specific application. This approach provides our customers with superior performance, decreased operating expenses and increased return on investment. 

Cooler, Cleaner, Greener Power & Energy Solutions project development services are one of our specialties. These projects are Kyoto Protocol compliant and generate clean energy and significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike most companies, we are equipment supplier/vendor neutral. This means we help our clients select the best equipment for their specific application. This approach provides our customers with superior performance, decreased operating expenses and increased return on investment. 

Renewable Energy Technologies provides project development services that generate clean energy and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide emissions. Included in this are our turnkey "ecogeneration" products and services which includes renewable energy technologies, waste to energy, waste to watts and waste heat recovery solutions.  Other project development technologies include; Anaerobic Digester, Anaerobic Lagoon, Biogas Recovery, BioMethane, Biomass Gasification, and Landfill Gas To Energy, project development services. 

Products and services provided by Renewable Energy Technologies includes the following power and energy project development services: 

  • Project Engineering Feasibility & Economic Analysis Studies  

  • Engineering, Procurement and Construction

  • Environmental Engineering & Permitting 

  • Project Funding & Financing Options; including Equity Investment, Debt Financing, Lease and Municipal Lease

  • Shared/Guaranteed Savings Program with No Capital Investment from Qualified Clients 

  • Project Commissioning 

  • 3rd Party Ownership and Project Development

  • Long-term Service Agreements

  • Operations & Maintenance 

  • Green Tag (Renewable Energy Credit, Carbon Dioxide Credits, Emission Reduction Credits) Brokerage Services; Application and Permitting

We are Renewable Energy Technologies specialists and develop clean power and energy projects that will generate a "Renewable Energy Credit," Carbon Dioxide Credits  and Emission Reduction Credits.  Some of our products and services solutions and technologies include; Absorption Chillers, Adsorption Chillers, Automated Demand Response, Biodiesel Refineries, Biofuel Refineries, Biomass Gasification, BioMethane, Canola Biodiesel, Coconut Biodiesel, Cogeneration, Concentrating Solar Power, Demand Response Programs, Demand Side Management, Energy Conservation Measures, Energy Master Planning, Engine Driven Chillers, Geothermal Heatpumps, Groundsource Heatpumps, Solar CHP, Solar Cogeneration, Rapeseed Biodiesel, Solar Electric Heat Pumps, Solar Electric Power Systems, Solar Heating and Cooling, Solar Trigeneration, Soy Biodiesel, Trigeneration, and Watersource Heatpumps.

For more information: call us at: 832-758-0027

What are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.  

Where do VOCs Come From?


VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions. VOCs are found in everything from paints and coatings to cleaning fluids. 

Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.

What are the Health and Environmental Implications from VOCs?


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is very concerned over the release of VOCs into our environment as are each of the state's air quality boards across the United States. VOCs are significant contributing factor to the production of ozone, a major air pollutant in large metropolitan cities, which are proven to be a public health hazard.

Ozone protects the earth and the environment when it is located in the upper atmosphere by reflecting the sun's ultraviolet rays. However, when ozone is produced and found at ground-level, it then becomes a major pollutant and causes harm to all life forms.  

According the the EPA, ozone is a highly reactive gas that "negatively affects the normal function of the lung in many healthy humans." EPA's studies show that breathing air with ozone concentrations above air quality standards aggravates symptoms of people with pulmonary diseases and seems to increase rates of asthma attacks. 

Prolonged exposure to ozone causes permanent damage to lung tissue and interferes with the functioning of the immune system. Ozone has been difficult to control because it is not emitted into the air, but formed in the atmosphere through a photochemical process. VOCs play a large role in the photochemical process and production of ozone as they react in the air with nitrogen oxides and sunlight to form ozone. Because of this, the EPA has determined that controlling VOCs is an effective method for minimizing ozone levels.

How We Assist Our Customers Turn an Environmental Problem and Expense Into Profits

We recover Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and turn the "waste" into fuel for use by the company generating the VOCs. Instead of an expense cost for incinerating the "waste" in a thermal oxidizer, we create clean energy from the recovered VOCs, and decrease the facility's energy costs  

Our VOC Control technology permits our client companies to meet even the most stringent European environmental laws and legislation. These ever- increasingly greater environmental laws to control VOCs in Europe and the U.S. has caused companies to become tougher on measuring and controlling volatile organic compounds. Our VOC ControlTM solutions exceed all environmental requirements and reduce your energy and environmental expenses and costs, creating profits for your company from what was an expense. 

What Are Hazardous Air Pollutants?

Hazardous Air Pollutants or "HAPs" are generally defined as those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause serious health problems. Section 112(b) of the Clean Air Act currently identifies a list of 188 pollutants as HAPs. EPA's ATW Web site presents more information on HAPs, their effects, and EPA's programs to reduce HAPs.

What Sources Emit HAPs?


HAPs are emitted by a variety of source categories that include stationary major and area sources, other stationary sources, and mobile sources. Major and area source categories are defined in Section 112 of the Clean Air Act.

Major sources are large stationary sources that emit more than 10 tons per year of any listed HAP or a combination of listed HAPs of 25 tons per year or more. The NTI includes facility data for major sources. Examples of major sources include electric utility plants, chemical plants, steel mills, oil refineries, and hazardous waste incinerators. These sources may release air toxics from equipment leaks, when materials are transferred from one location to another, or during discharge through emissions stacks or vents. 

Area sources are smaller stationary sources that emit less than 10 tons per year of a single HAP or less than 25 tons per year of a combination of air toxics. The NTI includes facility data for some area sources and aggregated emission estimates at the county level for the remaining area sources. Area sources are regulated under toxics provisions in the Clean Air Act. Examples of area sources include neighborhood dry cleaners and gas stations. Though emissions from individual area sources are often relatively small, collectively their emissions can be of concern particularly where large numbers of sources are located in heavily populated areas. 

Other stationary sources are sources that may be more appropriately addressed by other programs rather than through regulations developed under certain air toxics provisions (sections 112 or 129) in the Clean Air Act. Examples of other stationary sources include wildfires and prescribed burning whose emissions are being addressed through the burning policy agreed to by EPA and USDA. 

Mobile source categories include on-road vehicles, non-road 2- and 4- stroke and diesel engines, off road vehicles, aircraft, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels.

Distributed Generation is Cleaner, Greener Power and Energy that: 

Ends:  Power Problems, Electric Grid Problems & Black-Outs
Increases:  Profits Through Decreased Energy Expenses
Improves:  Air Quality Through Significantly Reduced Emissions
Conserves:  Natural Resources
Reduces:  Dependence on Foreign Oil

A confluence of utility restructuring, technology evolution, public environmental policy, and an expanding electricity market are providing the impetus for distributed generation to become an important energy option in the new millennium.

Utility restructuring opens energy markets, allowing the customer to choose the energy provider, method of delivery, and attendant services. The market forces favor small, modular power technologies that can be installed quickly in response to market signals.  

This restructuring comes at a time when:

    *   Demand for electricity is escalating domestically and internationally;

     *  Impressive gains have been made in the cost and performance of small, modular
         distributed generation technologies;

     *  Regional and global environmental concerns have placed a premium on efficiency
         and environmental performance; 

     *  Concerns have grown regarding the reliability and quality of electric power.

Emerging on the scene is a portfolio of small, modular gas-fueled power systems that have the potential to revolutionize the power market. Their size and extremely clean performance allow them to be sited at or near customer sites in what are called distributed generation applications.

These distributed generation systems also afford fuel flexibility by operating on natural gas, propane, or fuel gas derived from any hydrocarbon, including coal, biomass, and wastes from refineries, municipalities, and the forestry and agricultural industries. 

Technologies such as gas turbines and reciprocating engines are already making a contribution and they have more to offer through focused development efforts. Fuel cells are beginning to enter the market, but require additional research and development to realize widespread deployment.

Lastly, fuel cell/turbine hybrid systems and 21st century fuel cells, currently in the embryonic stage, offer even greater potential.

While addressing distributed generation potential in general, this document focuses on stationary energy gas-based distributed generation technologies and the Federal Energy Technology Center’s efforts to bring them into fruition.

What is Distributed Generation?

Distributed generation strategically applies relatively small generating units (typically less than 30 MWe) at or near consumer sites to meet specific customer needs, to support economic operation of the existing power distribution grid, or both. Reliability of service and power quality are enhanced by proximity to the customer, and efficiency is improved in on-site applications by using the heat from power generation. also referred to as "cogeneration."  

Significant technological advances through decades of intensive research have yielded major improvements in the economic, operational, and environmental performance of small, modular gas-fueled power generation options.

These distributed generation systems, capable of operating on a broad range of gas fuels, offer clean, efficient, reliable, and flexible on-site power alternatives. This emerging portfolio of distributed generation options being offered by energy service companies and independent power producers is changing the way customers view energy.

While central power systems remain critical to the nation’s energy supply, their flexibility to adjust to changing energy needs is limited. Central power is composed of large capital-intensive plants and a transmission and distribution (T&D) grid to disperse electricity.  Both require significant investments of time and money to increase capacity.  

Distributed generation complements central power by (1) providing a relatively low capital cost response to incremental increases in power demand, (2) avoiding T&D capacity upgrades by locating power where it is most needed, and (3) having the flexibility to put power back into the grid at user sites.

A New View on Energy Use Applications

There are a number of basic applications, outlined below, that represent typical patterns of services and benefits derived from distributed generation.

     *  Standby Power - Standby power is used for customers that cannot tolerate 
         interruption of service for either public health and safety reasons, or where outage
         costs are unacceptably high.  Since most outages occur as a result of storm or
         accident related T&D system breakdown, on–site standby generators are installed
         at locations such as hospitals, water pumping stations, and electronic-dependent
         manufacturing facilities.

     *  Cogeneration, Trigeneration and "Combined Heat and Power."  Power generation
         technologies create a large amount of heat in converting fuel to electricity. If
         located at or near a customer’s site, heat from the power generator can be used by
         the customer in what are called combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration
         applications. CHP significantly increases system efficiency when applied to
         mid-to-high-thermal use customers such as process industries, large office
         buildings, and hospitals.

     *  Peak Shaving - Power costs fluctuate hour by hour depending upon demand and
         generation availability.  These hourly variations are converted into seasonal and
         daily time-of-use rate categories such as on-peak, off-peak, or shoulder rates.
         Customer use of distributed generation during relatively high-cost on-peak periods
         is called peak shaving. Peak shaving benefits the energy supplier as well, when
         energy costs approach energy prices.

     *  Grid Support - The power grid is an integrated network of generation, high voltage 
         transmission, substations, and local distribution. Strategic placement of
         distributed generation can provide system benefits and precludes the need for
         expensive upgrades.

     *  Stand Alone - Stand alone distributed generation isolates the user from the grid
         either by choice or circumstance, as in remote applications. Such applications
         include users requiring tight control on the quality of the electric power delivered,
         as in computer chip manufacturing.

CUSTOMER BENEFITS OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

     *  Ensures reliability of energy supply, increasingly critical to business and industry
         in general, and essential to some where interruption of service is unacceptable
         economically or where health and safety is impacted;

     *  Provides the right energy solution at the right location;

     *  Provides the power quality needed in many industrial applications dependent
         upon sensitive electronic instrumentation and controls;

     *  Offers efficiency gains for on-site applications by avoiding line losses, and using
         both electricity and the heat produced in power generation for processes or heating
         and air conditioning;

     *  Enables savings on electricity rates by self generating during high-cost peak power 
         periods and adopting relatively low-cost interruptible power rates;

     *  Provides a stand-alone power option for areas where transmission and
         distribution infrastructure does not exist or is too expensive to build;

     *  Allows power to be delivered in environmentally sensitive and pristine areas by
         having characteristically high efficiency and near-zero pollutant emissions;

     *  Affords customers a choice in satisfying their particular energy needs; 

     *  Provides siting flexibility by virtue of the small size, superior environmental
         performance, and fuel flexibility.

SUPPLIER BENEFITS OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

     *  Limits capital exposure and risk because of the size, siting flexibility, and rapid 
         installation time afforded by the small, modularly constructed, environmentally
         friendly, and fuel flexible systems;

     *  Avoids unnecessary capital expenditure by closely matching capacity increases to
         growth in demand;

     *  Avoids major investments in transmission and distribution system upgrades by
         siting new generation near the customer;

     *  Offers a relatively low-cost entry point into a competitive market

     *  Opens markets in remote areas without transmission and distribution systems,
         and areas without power because of environmental concerns.

NATIONAL BENEFITS OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

     *  Reduces greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency gains and potential
         renewable resource use;

     *  Responds to increasing energy demands and pollutant emission concerns while
         providing low-cost, reliable energy essential to maintaining competitiveness in the
         world market;

     *  Positions the United States to export distributed generation in a rapidly growing
         world energy market, the largest portion of which is devoid of a transmission and
         distribution grid;

     *  Establishes a new industry worth billions of dollars in sales and hundreds of
         thousands of jobs; 

     *  Enhances productivity through improved reliability and quality of power delivered,
         valued at billions of dollars per year.


THE DISTRIBUTED GENERATION OPPORTUNITY

The importance of distributed generation is reflected in the size of the estimated market. Domestically, new demand combined with plant retirements is projected to require as much as 1.7 trillion kilowatt-hours of additional electric power by 2020, almost twice the growth of the last 20 years. Over the next decade, the domestic distributed generation market, in terms of installed capacity to meet the demand, is estimated to be 5–6 gigawatts per year. Worldwide forecasts show electricity consumption increasing from 12 trillion kilowatt hours in 1996 to 22 trillion kilowatt hours in 2020, largely due to growth in developing countries without nationwide power grids. 

The projected distributed generation capacity increase associated with the global market is conservatively estimated at 20 gigawatts per year over the next decade.

The projected surge in the distributed generation market is attributable to a number of factors. 

Under utility restructuring, energy suppliers, not the customer, must shoulder the financial risk of the capital investments associated with capacity additions.  This favors less capital-intensive projects and shorter construction schedules. Also, while opening up the energy market, utility restructuring places pressure on reserve margins, as energy suppliers increase capacity factors on existing plants to meet growing demand rather than install new capacity. This also increases the probability of forced outages. As a result, customer concerns over reliability have escalated, particularly those in the manufacturing industry.

With the increased use of sensitive electronic components, the need for reliable, high-quality power supplies is paramount for most industries. The cost of power outages, or poor quality power, can be ruinous to industries with continuous processing and pinpoint-quality specifications.  Studies indicate that nationwide, power fluctuations cause annual losses of $12–26 billion. 

As the power market opens up, the pressure for enhanced environmental performance increases. In many regions in the U.S. there is near-zero tolerance for additional pollutant emissions as the regions strive to bring existing capacity into compliance. Public policy, reflecting concerns over global climate change, is providing incentives for capacity additions that offer high efficiency and use of renewables.

Overseas, the utility sector is undergoing change as well, with market forces displacing government controls and public pressure forcing more stringent environmental standards. 

Electricity demand worldwide is forecasted to nearly double. Moreover, there is an increasing effort to bring commercial power to an estimated 2 billion people in rural areas currently without access to a power grid.

Robotic fabrication, as shown here, is becoming commonplace in the manufacturing industry and is mandating high-quality power for the associated electronic components 

THE CHALLENGE

Although growing, distributed generation is still in its infancy. Ultimately, the market will be shaped by crucial product development and economic, institutional, and regulatory issues.

Market penetration will depend on how well manufacturers of distributed generation systems do in meeting product pricing and performance targets. Many of the more promising technologies have not yet achieved market entry pricing or risk levels, while others simply have not reached their market potential.

Customers—utilities, energy service companies, and end users—have yet to define and quantify distributed generation attributes such as transmission and distribution upgrade cost avoidance, improved grid stability, or enhanced power reliability. 

A major institutional issue, regarding customer inter- connection with the distribution grid, currently stands in the way of distributed generation. Utility specifications for connection with the grid are complex and lack clarity and consistency. The results are high costs and project delays, or termination.  Clearly, interconnect requirements are needed for safety, reliability, and power quality purposes. This strongly suggests the development of transparent national interconnect standards. Also needing to be addressed are the historical use charges, back-up charges, insurance charges, and other utility fees associated with those choosing to self-generate while remaining connected to the grid. Moreover, there is the matter of high liability insurance coverage for mis-operations of the distributed generator, needed to protect the utility.

Regulatory issues arise as well. For example, unless changes are made, distributed generation units may not get credit for avoided pollutant emissions. These emission credits are normally dealt with during the utility resource planning process, not during operation.

To realize the potential of distributed generation, the technical, economic, institutional, and regulatory issues must be dealt with effectively. This task will require cooperation between the public and private sectors. In doing so, a new industry can emerge benefiting the economy through jobs and revenues.

THE DOE'S GOALS FOR DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

The Department of Energy is fostering the establishment of a strong national distributed generation capability through a program supporting:

     *  Research, development, and demonstration to optimize the cost and performance
         and to accelerate the readiness of a portfolio of advance gas-fueled distributed
         generation systems for both domestic and foreign markets;
     
     *  Policy development necessary to remove barriers to widespread distributed
         generation deployment.

THE DOE PROGRAM PROGRAM

The Department is carrying out the Program by:

     * Working in partnership with other federal agencies, state governments, technology 
        suppliers, industry research organizations, academia, power generators, energy
        service companies, and end users;

     *  Sharing in the cost and risk of technology development;

     *  Providing forums for discussion of issues and Program content;

     *  Ensuring that customers and stakeholders have needed Program information;

     *  Nurturing partnerships that support Program goals.

TECHNOLOGIES USED IN DISTRIBUTED GENERATION SYSTEMS

A gas turbine produces a high-temperature, high pressure gas working fluid through combustion, to induce shaft rotation by impingement of the gas upon a series of specially designed blades. The shaft rotation drives an electric generator and a compressor for the air used by the gas turbine. Many turbines also use a heat exchanger called a recuperator to impart turbine exhaust heat into the combustor’s air/fuel mixture. 

As for capacity, recently emerging microturbines, evolved from automotive turbochargers, are about to enter the market with outputs as low as 25 kW. Next generation utility-scale turbines are rated at nearly 400 MW in combined-cycle applications.

Gas turbines produce high quality heat that can be used to generate steam for CHP and combined-cycle applications, significantly enhancing efficiency. They accommodate a variety of gases including those derived from gasification of coal, biomass, and hydrocarbon wastes. However, pollutant emissions, primarily nitrogen oxides, are a concern particularly as turbine inlet temperatures are increased to improve efficiency.

RECIPROCATING ENGINES

Reciprocating engines, or piston-driven internal combustion engines, are a widespread and well-known technology. These engines offer low capital cost, easy start-up, proven reliability, good load-following characteristics, and heat recovery potential. 

Incorporation of exhaust catalysts and better combustion design and control significantly reduced pollutant emissions over the past several years.

With the greatest distributed generation growth occurring in the under-5-MW market, reciprocating engines have become the fastest selling distributed generation technology in the world today. 

Of the reciprocating engines, spark ignition natural gas-fired units have increased their percent of market share by over 150 percent from 1995 to 1997. The reason for increased popularity stems from low initial installed costs, low operating costs, and low environmental impact.

Natural gas-fired reciprocating engine capacities typically range from 0.5–5 MW. The highest efficiencies achieved for these engines, which occur in the mid-range of 1–2 MW, are 38–40 percent for domestic engines and as high as 44% for some European engines. 

The impetus for continuing growth in engine use is the anticipated rapid expansion of distributed generation domestically and internationally and the preference for reciprocating engines in the less-than-5-MW market. 

Domestically, realizing performance goals will alleviate potential strain on natural gas supplies and essentially eliminate pollutant emission concerns. 

Internationally, improved cost and performance will provide U.S. engine manufacturers a strong market position. As with the other gas-based distributed generation systems, reciprocating engines technology is adaptable to other gases such as landfill gas, propane, and gases derived from gasification of coal, biomass, and municipal, forestry, and refinery wastes.

The Trigeneration Advantage

Helping Commercial, Industrial and Utility Clients Become 
More Efficient, Profitable & Environmentally-Responsible

By Monty Goodell, MBA, Chairman, President and CEO
Trigeneration Technologies
Wholly-owned subsidiary of EcoGeneration Solutions, LLC
www.Trigeneration.com

By ever-increasing numbers, more and more commercial, industrial and utility companies  and businesses are seeking ways to use energy more efficiently. This is a direct result of dramatically increasing electric and natural gas rates, decreased power reliability (black-outs, brown-outs, rolling black-outs and other power interruptions) as well as competitive and economic pressures to cut expenses, increase air quality, and reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses.  The Kyoto Protocol, while not ratified in the United States , continues to be another major driver in much of the rest of the world.  In the United States , "trigeneration"  is becoming a preferred method to produce a company's, building or facility’s power and energy requirements.  Trigeneration is also providing a strategic competitive advantage for those companies who install an onsite trigeneration system. Another reason more companies are considering trigeneration is the ever-increasing expense of natural gas – which behooves commercial, industrial and even utility customers – to extract as many of the available BTU’s as possible. 

Trigeneration is an energy and power production technology that takes cogeneration one additional step. Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is the simultaneous production of electricity and useful heat, usually in the form of either hot water or steam, from one primary fuel, such as natural gas. While not necessarily defined correctly, cogeneration has also been referred to as district energy, total energy, combined cycle and simply cogen. Cogeneration has been mostly a technology used in the utilities and industrial marketplace.

Trigeneration, as the name implies, refers to the simultaneous production of three useful energies, and is defined as the simultaneous production of heat and power, just like cogeneration, except trigeneration takes cogeneration one step further by also producing chilled water for air conditioning or process use with the addition of absorption chillers that take the waste heat from a cogeneration plants to make chilled water for cooling a building. 

Trigeneration has also recently been referred to;

*  Integrated energy systems (IES) 

*  Buildings, Cooling, Heating and Power

*  Combined Cooling, Heating and Power 

*  Cooling, Heating and Power for Buildings

*  CHP systems for buildings

permits even greater operational flexibility at businesses with demand for energy in the form of heating as well as cooling. Just as a cogeneration power plant captures and makes use of the waste heat, absorption or adsorption chillers capture the waste (or rejected) heat and produce chilled water.

Trigeneration energy and power systems are found in commercial applications typically where there is a need for air conditioning or chilled water by the customer.

When a trigeneration energy and power system is installed “onsite,” that is, where the electrical and thermal energy is needed by the customer, so that the electrical energy does not have to be transported hundreds of miles away, and the thermal energy is utilized, system efficiencies can reach and surpass 90%.    


Onsite trigeneration plants are much more efficient, economically-sound and environmentally-friendly than typical (central) power plants.  Because of this, customers have energy expenses that are significantly lower, and the associated pollution is also much less than if the customer had an energy system supplied with electricity from the grid, and had water heaters and boilers systems “onsite.”  Trigeneration’s superior efficiencies surpass even the latest “state-of-the-art” combined cycle cogeneration power plants by up to 50%. Coupled with
a 4-pipe system, these businesses can produce hot water/steam and chilled water simultaneously, for circulation throughout the building or campus – which would be referred to as a district energy system.

And size is not an impediment, since trigeneration systems can be installed, for example, in small commercial settings, such as restaurants, hotels, schools, office buildings and shopping centers to large petro-chemical plants, refineries and in a city’s downtown area, providing the energy requirements for multiple buildings… and still remaining at system efficiencies of 90%.

“EcoGeneration” defines the optimization of economic and ecological benefits in the power generation process.  EcoGeneration produces huge savings for our environment through the reduction, or even elimination of of pollution associated with power and energy production and generation.  Additionally, ecogeneration appeals to our clients’ economic bottom-line by providing them with significant fuel and electrical savings.

Energy technologies that fall under ecogeneration include; wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen fuel, hydrogen fuel cells, soybean diesel fuels, ocean/tidal power, waste to energy/waste to fuel and waste to watts, combined cycle, district energy, cogeneration, trigeneration and even quadgeneration power plants.

There are two major ecogeneration initiatives and technologies we will discuss in greater length in this article; cogeneration and and a newer technology, “trigeneration.” Trigeneration, is one of the most attractive options which is even more efficient and economically rewarding than its cousin, cogeneration. 

History of 120 Year-Old Cogeneration Technology Leads the Way to a Brighter Future for Trigeneration and Even Quadgeneration Technologies

Many people know that Thomas Edison built the first commercial power plant.  However, most people do not know that Edison ’s first commercial power plant known as the “Pearl Street Station” – built in 1882, in Lower Manhattan , New York , was also a cogeneration power plant!

Because cogeneration and trigeneration continues to be the most efficient method of generating electrical and thermal energy, in terms of energy output, the Department of Energy has called for the doubling of electrical power generated from cogeneration power plants – from the existing 46 GW (one gigawatt = 1,000 MW) to 92 GW by the year 2010. When this goal is reached, cogeneration will represent about 14% of the total U.S. generating capacity of electricity. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)  estimates that an additional 95 GW of cogeneration capacity could be added between 2010-2020, resulting in 29% of total U.S. electric power generation being generated through cogeneration.  Europe is also dramatically increasing the number of cogeneration power plants over the next decade.

And the historical basis and success of cogeneration, has been the foundational basis for expanding the efficiencies of cogeneration to triegeneration and even quadgeneration – with each new increase in energies recovered resulting in higher efficiencies and lower fuel/energy costs and fewer related emissions.

President George W. Bush’s National Energy Plan

In the United States , President George W. Bush’s National Energy Plan recognizes the important role that is found in cogeneration technologies - and it plays an important role in meeting national energy objectives and maintaining comfort and safety in commercial markets and office buildings.  Released in May 2001, President Bush’s National Energy Plan states in section 3-5 of the National Energy Plan, states;

A family of technologies known as combined heat and power (CHP) can achieve efficiencies of 80% or more.  In addition to environmental benefits, cogeneration projects offer efficiency and cost savings in a variety of settings, including industrial boilers, energy systems, and small, building scale applications.  At industrial facilities alone, there is potential for an additional 124,000 MW of efficient power from gas-fired cogeneration, which could result in annual emissions reductions of 614,000 tons of Nox emissions and 44 million tos of carbon equivalent.  Cogeneration is also one of a group of clean, highly reliable, distributed energy technologies that reduce the amount of electricity lost in transmission while eliminating the need to construct expensive power lines to transmit power from large central power plants.”

President Bush’s National Energy Plan includes:

-                      Promotion of cogeneration through flexible environmental permitting.

-                      Issuing of guidelines to encourage development of highly efficient and
     low-emissions cogeneration

-                      Greater promotion of cogeneration at abandoned brownfield industrial and
      commercial sites.   

Pollution Associated with Inefficient Power Plants

Currently, power plants in the U.S. have been cited for producing two-thirds of its’ annual sulfur dioxide emissions, one-quarter of the nitrogen oxide emissions, one-third of mercury emissions, and one-third of carbon dioxide emissions.  These resulting pollutants produce serious environmental and health consequences, including:

-                      Increased sick days in areas with high urban smog levels.

-                      Ling problems in the young and old, including increased rates of asthma
     and chronic bronchitis.

-                      Global climate change.

-                      Urban haze and smog.

-                      Acid rain.

-                      Acidification of lakes, streams, rivers and oceans.

-                      Dead, and dying lakes, stream, rivers and wildlife in and near these areas.

“Curing” the problems associated with inefficient electrical power generation begins with pollution prevention. The choices are clear, we must stop wasting energy and start increasing the efficiency of power generation facilities.  Instead of building inefficient, wasteful, pollution-generating “central” power plants owned by utility companies, where the thermal energy is “wasted,” we need to start building efficient, onsite power plants where the heat energy can be utilized. These onsite cogeneration, trigeneration and quadgeneration power and energy systems are also referred to as “distributed generation” or “distributed energy” technologies. They can be installed easily, affordably and they operate economically throughout their life-cycle.

EPA understands that resolving these problems must start with pollution prevention, which equates to using fewer energy resources to produce goods and services. The National Energy Plan includes four specific recommendations to promote CHP, three of which were directed to EPA for action:

·       promotion of CHP through flexible environmental permitting.

·       issuing of guidance to encourage development of highly efficient and low- emitting CHP through shortened lead times and greater certaint.y

·       promotion of the use of CHP at abandoned brownfield industrial or commercial sites.

As a follow-up to those recommendations, EPA joined with 18 Fortune 500 companies, city and state governments, and non-profit organizations in February 2002 in Washington , DC , to announce the EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership (CHPP). The CHPP aims to advance CHP as a more efficient, clean and reliable alternative to conventional electricity generation. The Partnership now boasts nearly 50 partners, including state and local regulators, end users, project developers, and equipment suppliers.

Clean, Onsite Power and Energy Systems for 
Industrial and Commercial Customers

“Distributed generation” locates smaller and more efficient power plants where the power and thermal energy is actually needed.  These onsite power systems are also called “inside the fence” power systems and are designed and engineered to maximize the customer’s power and energy requirements. 

Companies such as EcoGeneration Solutions, LLC (EGS) provide its’ customers turnkey, optimized energy solutions – starting with a comprehensive engineering nd feasibility study.  This helps determine the optimum-sized  power system based on their energy requirements, location, energy consumption patterns, and local electric rates. 

For some clients, EGS offers an energy solution wherein EGS will make the investment, with litle to no investment from the client.  These customers are first qualified and then EGS will design, build, own and operate the trigeneration or quadgeneration system for their clients. 

According to Monty Goodell, EGS’ Founder and Chairman, “we essentially become the onsite utility, providing for our client’s energy requirements that saves them an immediate 20%-30% - with little or no investment from our clients.  This translates directly to their bottom-line as some of our client’s energy costs exceed $1 million per month." 

"When our client does not have the capital or budget to make the investment in an onsite co/tri/quadgeneration system, and if they qualify, we come and determine an optimized solution, and when our client and EGS agree on the terms, we offer our Power Purchase Agreement, and it’s a truly “win-win” situation for some of our clients. Mr Goodell continues, “of course, this situation is one of the options available for our clients, and fits our business model, but not all of our client’s opt for this option.  Most of our client’s are quite sophisticated in terms of being able to run these onsite power systems.  Many are choosing to maximize on their savings by purchasing and operating the systems we offer them.”

The Energy Information (EIA) Administration of the Department of Energy recently sponsored a study to estimate the potential for new trigeneration power and energy systems in the U.S. According to their study, there are 1,431,805 buildings in the United States that are suitable for onsite cogeneration power systems (most of these are actually better suited for “trigeneration”) requiring a capacity of 77,281 MW. At an average of $2 million per MW, this translates into a $154 Billion market opportunity in the U.S. alone.  

“Even ‘quadgeneration’ is a possibility,” according to Mr. Goodell, “taking even trigeneration one further step, quadgeneration produces 4 energies from one process.  By extracting most, if not all of the available heat from the power/energy generation process, end-users obtain the most efficient, optimized energy system.” But the efficiency gains are wasted if the recovered waste heat is not put to work or the existing boilers or water heaters  displaced, reduced or eliminate entirely. This is why it is absolutely critical that a thorough and complete feasibility is critical in the determination of a properly sized onsite energy system, and that outdated systems are either eliminated,  compensated for or integrated into the new energy system. It should go without saying, but if the facility that installs a trigeneration or quadgeneration system does not replace or reduce other systems, there can be a net loss of efficiency.  If the facility does not offset the net efficiency gains of the new trigeneration system by reducing, displacing or eliminating the existing water heaters/boilers load, then the facility will not have an “optimized” installation and therefore will not profit to the extent they could have had the feasibility and design studies been properly conducted.      


Trigeneration and even "QuadGeneration" Takes the Lead 
Over Cogeneration Due to Their
Superior Efficiencies

More onsite energy/power systems in Europe are going with “trigeneration” rather than cogeneration.  A trigeneration system consists of a cogeneration plant, and either absorption or adsorption chillers that produce chilled water by making use of some of the waste heat recovered from the cogeneration power plant. 

Schematic Presentation of a Gas Turbine Based QUADGENERATION Facility
Providing Four Energies (output) from One Fuel Input
  

While cooling can be provided by electric-driven compression chillers, low quality heat (i.e. low temperature, low pressure) that is not used by the cogeneration power plant, can be used to drive the absorption or adsorption chillers so that the overall primary energy consumption is reduced.

Trigeneration power plants with absorption and/or adsorption chillers have gained widespread acceptance due to their capability of not only integrating with cogeneration systems but also because they can operate with industrial waste heat streams that can be fairly substantial. The benefit of power generation and absorption or adsorption cooling can be realized through the following example that compares it with a power generation system with conventional electric-driven compression systems.

Trigeneration’s Superior Efficiency Over Cogeneration by the Numbers
(Example courtesy of ASHRAE)

Assume in this example a factory needs 1 MW of electricity and 500 refrigeration tons (RT) (Definition:  A refrigeration ton (RT) is defined as the transfer of heat at the rate of 3.52 kW, which is roughly the rate of cooling obtained by melting ice at the rate of one ton per day). 

Let us first consider the gas turbine that generates electricity required for the processes as well as the conventional electric-driven compression chiller. With an electricity demand of 0.65 kW/RT, the compression chiller needs 325 kW of electricity to obtain 500 RT of cooling.  Therefore, a total of 1325 kW of electricity must be provided to this factory. If the gas turbine efficiency has an efficiency of 30 per cent, primary energy consumption would be 4417 kW. 


 Schematic diagram of power generation and cooling with electricity

However, a trigeneration system (with absorption or adsorption chillers – by definition) can provide the same energy service (power and cooling) by consuming only 3,333 kW of primary energy. See below:


Schematic diagram of power generation and absorption cooling

In this example, the trigeneration power plant saves about 24.54% of the “primary energy” in this case as opposed to the cogeneration power plant with electric-driven compression chillers.  Since many industries and commercial buildings in tropical countries need combined power and heating/cooling, the cogeneration systems with absorption cooling have very high potentials for industrial and commercial application.

In addition to producing power/electricity and hot water/steam, trigeneration also produces chilled water for air conditioning or other industrial processes.

Trigeneration, when compared to "combined-cycle" cogeneration, can be up to 50% more efficient than cogeneration, further reducing operating costs, fuel expenses and environmental pollutants.

Trigeneration systems for commercial buildings are very profitable investments for the building owners.  A new trigeneration system might pay for itself in as little as 2 years, depending on local electric rates, natural gas (or other fuel) costs, and the load profile of the building.  Trigeneration systems help not only the building owners, but also benefit society in many ways, including:

·         increased power reliability

·         reduced power requirements on the electric grid

·         improved environmental quality

·         reduced energy consumption

·         reduced dependence on foreign oil

The onsite trigeneration system can be economically attractive for many types of buildings and businesses, including, but not limited to the following:

Hospitals                                 Colleges & universities

Schools                                   Office buildings

Shopping centers                      Government facilities

Data Centers                            Server farms

Nursing homes                         Hotels 

Supermarkets                           Refrigerated Warehouses

Retail stores                              Restaurants

Theatres                                   Ice skating

Airports                                    Resorts

Golf/country clubs                     Manufacturing

Casinos                                    Resorts

Facilities with trigeneration systems use them to produce their own electricity, and use the unused excess (waste) heat for process steam, water heating, space heating, air-conditioning, and other thermal needs.

Trigeneration and quadgeneration systems are so energy efficient and profitable that ROI’s of 8 months to 36 months are achievable. Mr. Goodell adds, “because every situation is unique, a feasibility study is an absolute requirement before just ordering any trigeneration system, as there are so many different manufacturers, not to mention the externalities, and internalities that need to be examined and reviewed to find an optimized energy solution.”  

The following is from the Buildings, Cooling, Heating and Power website www.bchp.org; Energy is the most significant driving force of our economy. All buildings need electric power for lighting and operating equipment and appliances. One of the major consumers of energy in buildings is the equipment for space conditioning. Most commercial and institutional buildings for businesses, education, and healthcare require space conditioning for cooling, heating, and/or humidity control.”

Since the 1930’s approximately two-thirds of all the fuel used to make electricity in the U.S. is generally wasted by central power plants in the form of unused thermal energy, in the electrical generation process – either into the air or discharging into water. While there have been impressive energy efficiency gains in other sectors of the economy since the oil price shocks of the 1970's, the average efficiency of power generation within the U.S. has remained around 27% - 35% for nearly 70 years.  Today’s combined-cycle power plants – which is a form of cogeneration, are only about 60% efficient.

From the Buildings, Cooling, Heating & Power website at www.bchp.org; “Integrated systems for cooling, heating and power (CHP) systems significantly increase efficiency of energy utilization, up to 85%, by using thermal energy from power generation equipment for cooling, heating and humidity control systems. These systems are located at or near the building using power and space conditioning, and can save about 40% of the input energy required by conventional systems. In other words, conventional systems require 65% more energy than the integrated systems, as shown in the above diagram.

Commercial buildings, college campuses, hospital complexes, and government facilities are good candidates for benefiting from integrated systems for CHP for buildings.”

Improved Power Reliability

Economic losses due to power outages in the U.S. have cost American businesses billions of dollars. The following table shows the economic impact of power outages on some industries.

Industry

Average Cost of Power Outage $/hr

Brokage Operations

6,480,000

Credit Card Operations

2,580,000

Airline Reservations

90,000

Telephone Ticket Sales

72,000

Cellular Communications

41,000

Power outages and rolling blackouts are occurring more frequently.  And they are no longer isolated to California .  ERCOT, in Texas, recently shut-down 17 power plants, some less than 2 years old, leading many to believe  that Texas may be following California with black-outs where Texas, to date, has never had a power shortage.  Many other states have power shortages and power availability problems. Like any commodity, these problems normally occur when demand for power exceeds its supply, for example, on hot days when demand for power, for air-conditioning, increases.  Also occuring during extremely cold days when demand for power for providing heating increases.  There are many areas where grid congestion and limits to handle the required demand for electricity, or the grid’s inability to supply the demand for electricity in specific areas, creates additional problems.  Weather-related storms knock out power when trees fall on power lines, transformers blow, substation transformers fail. Trigeneration systems for buildings eliminate these problems because power generation equipment is at or near the building sites and helps reduce load on the power grid and local area lines and thus, helps improve power reliability.

Improved Efficiencies Equals Improved Environmental Quality and
Reduced Energy Consumption

Trigeneration has also recently been linked to “sustainable energy” as it improves the efficiency of energy utilization to as much as 90% and more, compared to that of about 25% to 35% for central power plants, to as much as 55% for combined-cycle power plants, which is also another form of cogeneration, depending on the specific system.  But when primary fuel (natural gas) expenses reach the $5 - $6.00/mmbtu range, even the most efficient combined cycle power plants cannot compete with coal.  This is another reason why onsite trigeneration systems high system efficiencies are a profitable solution for business and industry, as 2-3 year ROI’s are still possible with trigeneration, even when natural gas costs are in excess of $6/mmbtu. 

Because the overall increased system efficiency of energy utilization, with trigeneration, decreases the amount of fossil fuel consumed per unit of energy used – this leads to significant reductions in air emissions by 40% to 70% and more, depending on the systems, compared to conventional centralized power plants.

Also of increasing interest, is the relationship of indoor air quality to our health. In order to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria, it is important to keep humidity in the indoor air to below 60%. Trigeneration used in buildings improves indoor air quality by supporting the use of a desiccant dehumidification system to dry the air. Desiccant systems use a material that directly removes the moisture from the air then use heat, such as that provided by the exhaust gases of the power generation equipment in the CHP system, to regenerate the desiccant. This provides a very energy efficient and cost effective method of dehumidifying indoor air, rather that using an air conditioner to "over cool" the air to remove humidity.

Reduced Energy Consumption

As discussed above, trigeneration systems for buildings increases the overall efficiency of energy utilization to 90% and more. Therefore, the use of these systems reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, for a unit of energy required for a building, by about 40% of that used by conventional systems. In other words, conventional systems require 65% more energy than the integrated systems.  This is important for prolonging the period of availability of our scarce fossil fuel resources (natural gas, oil and coal) and reducing our dependence on imported fuel and on nuclear energy.”

Past History and Success of Cogeneration Leading to 
Even Brighter Future and New Technologies Such as 
Trigeneration and even Quadgeneration

Because cogeneration has proved to be very efficient in terms of energy output, the Department of Energy is calling for the doubling of electrical power generated from cogeneration power plants from the existing 46 gigawatts* (GW - * A unit of power equal to 1 billion Watts; 1 million kilowatts, or 1,000 megawatts ) or about 8% of our nation’s existing electrical production, to 92 GW by the year 2010.  When this goal is achieved, cogeneration will represent about 14% of US electric generating capacity. The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) estimates that an additional 95 GW of cogeneration capacity could be added between 2010 and 2020, resulting in 29% of total capacity.  Europe is also dramatically increasing the number of cogeneration power plants there and has also called for a doubling in power generated through cogeneration over the next 10 years.

Currently, power plants are responsible for two-thirds of the nation's annual sulfur dioxide emissions, one-quarter of nitrogen oxide emissions, one-third of mercury emissions, and one-third of carbon dioxide emissions. These emissions contribute to serious environmental problems, including global climate change, acid rain, haze, acidification of waterways, and eutrophication of estuaries. These same emissions contribute to numerous health problems, such as chronic bronchitis and aggravation of asthma, particularly in children.

Advantages of Onsite Trigeneration Energy & Power Systems for 
Commercial and Institutional
Buildings and Properties  

·         Cogeneration and trigeneration are universally accepted as the most energy-efficient means of producing electricity.   

·         Cogeneration now produces almost 10% of our nation's electricity and 10% of electricity produced globally.

·         Cogeneration saves its customers up to 50% on their energy expenses. Trigeneration savings are even greater.   

·         Provides even greater savings to our environment through significantly reduced emissions associated with power plants.

·         Backed by environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

·         The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is promoting the use of more electricity to be produced through cogeneration power plants.  The E.P.A. recently formed the “CHP/Cogeneration Partnership” to foster more cogeneration power plants to meet our nation’s electricity demand.

·         Cogeneration is proven technology that has been around over 100 years and not the latest industry buzz-word being touted as the solution to our nation's energy problems. The world’s first power plant designed and built by Thomas Edison in 1882 was a cogeneration plant located on Pearl Street on Lower Manhattan , New York .   

·         Two-thirds of the fuel used to make electricity today in the United States is wasted. While there have been impressive energy efficiency gains in other sectors of the economy since the oil price shocks of the 1970s, the average efficiency of power generation in the United States has stagnated at around 33 percent since 1960.     

·         The thermal losses in power plants total approximately 23 quadrillion BTUs of energy, representing one-quarter of total energy consumption in the United States, enough energy to fuel the nation's entire transportation fleet, Japan's entire economy, or the annual energy production of Saudi Arabia. This energy waste means higher than needed emissions of pollutants like sulfur dioxides, oxides of nitrogen, particulates, volatile organic compounds, and greenhouse gases  

·         A new trigeneration power plant may pay for itself in as little as 2-3 years.   

·         It is important to note that increasing the use of cogeneration and trigeneration systems is - and has been, for over one hundred years one of the best technologies available for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants found in the typical power plant as well as a means for conserving fuel and reducing our reliance on foreign oil and energy supplies. 

·         The Kyoto Protocol, while not being ratified here in the United States , is moving ahead with ratification throughout the rest of the world.  Countries throughout much of Europe and Asia view cogeneration and trigeneration as the single best energy technology to meet the stringent emissions requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.   

·         Primary fuels commonly used in trigeneration include natural gas, oil, diesel fuel, propane, coal, wood, wood-waste and bio-mass. These "primary" fuels are used to make electricity that is a "secondary" energy. This is why electricity, when compared on a btu to btu basis, is typically 3-4 times more expensive than primary fuels such natural gas.   

A typical trigeneration power plant consists of an engine, steam turbine, or combustion turbine that drives an electrical generator. A waste heat exchanger recovers waste heat from the engine and/or exhaust gas to produce hot water or steam. In trigeneration power plants, an absorption or adsorption chiller is added to a cogeneration system to convert the waste heat from a cogeneration system to make chilled water for air conditioning.

Cogeneration produces a given amount of electric power and process heat with 20% to 30% less fuel than it takes to produce the electricity and process heat separately.  Trigeneration produces chilled water, in addition to electric power and process heat with approximately 50% less fuel than it takes to produce electricity, process heat and chilled water separately. And when primary fuels such as natural gas increase     

About Us

Cogeneration Technologies and Trigeneration Technologies are subsidiaries of EcoGeneration Solutions, LLC (EGS), a privately-held company which was formed in 2002 to assist our customers increase their power reliability and reduce energy and power expenses.

Cogeneration Technologies serves the utility and industrial markets while Trigeneration Technologies serves the commercial marketplace.  We develop and implement optimized energy solutions that improve the global environment by producing clean energy from fuels such as natural gas (including liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas), agricultural, municipal and forestry waste and other renewable resources such as energy crops. EGS’ power plants can also accept a wide range of biomass feedstock, all of which can be converted into a clean burning, medium-Btu gas that can be used as a direct substitute for natural gas. 

As project developers, we provide turn-key installation of onsite co/tri/quadgeneration systems which includes design, engineering and development of power projects up to 100 MW.  We were recently selected to design, build, own and operate a 15 MW trigeneration power plant for the new Charis Convention Center and Resort. This power plant will incorporate thermal energy storage as well as solar power for one of the cleanest power plants to ever be designed in Southern California . 

Our advanced trigeneration process, coupled with a conventional reciprocating engine or gas turbine, can convert fuel into electric power at over twice the efficiency of conventional systems. Our highly efficient power plants produce up to 4 different types of energy using our advanced trigeneration technology i.e. electricity, steam, hot water, and chilled water for air conditioning from one “on-site” power plant in one process using one fuel. 

Monty Goodell is the Founder and Chairman of Ecogeneration Solutions, LLC, the parent company of Cogeneration Technologies and Trigeneration Technologies. Mr. Goodell has a B.A. in Economics from Texas State University and an M.B.A. from Baylor University. With several sales and marketing awards from his background in in the natural gas utility industry, including 1st Place Company Sales Award in the annual Who’s Who Sales Competition at Entex (now a Reliant Energy Company), he started marketing cogeneration and trigeneration energy and power systems in the mid 1980’s.

For more information, visit Cogeneration Technologies website at: 

www.Cogeneration.net  

Or Trigeneration Technologies website at:  

www.Trigeneration.com

E-mail at:  info@cogeneration.net

Additional Trigeneration Success Stories from the www.bchp.org website

The McCormick Place Exhibition and Convention Center – Chicago , Illinois

The Challenge

In 1992, The Chicago Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), overseeing the McCormick Place Exhibition and Convention Center, was planning a 2.2 million square foot expansion to the 2.8 million square foot complex. Faced with a $27 million capital investment in new heating and cooling facilities, the MPEA decided to outsource the operations of the existing energy plant, and their future energy needs for the growing facility.

Project Description

The project developer’s approach integrated the operation of the existing heating and cooling equipment with a Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system and three Trigeneration (combined heating, cooling and power) systems. The TES system, the largest chilled water storage tank in North America , (8.5 million gallons) stores cold water at produced at night and discharges it to meet daylight peak cooling loads. The three Trigeneration systems combine a gas turbine, a motor/generator, a heat recovery steam generator and an ammonia screw compressor chiller.

Benefits

The cost savings to the MPEA came in two forms. Operational savings of $1 million per year are projected over the life of the project. By allowing the developer to take ownership of the facility, the MPEA also avoided a $27 million up front capital outlay.

The efficiency improvements of the integrated facility resulted in substantial environmental benefits from the McCormick Place project. By using the same fuel twice to produce electricity and other energy products and maximizing the use of all the possible energy from the fuel, the facility is able to achieve fuel conversion efficiencies of 91%. As such emissions of CO2 are reduced annually by 24,327 tons and NOx by 59 tons (twice the expected annual emissions from the facility) when compared to the production of these same products separately, by conventional means.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT Cogeneration Project

The MIT Cogeneration Project represents a ten year, forty million dollar initiative by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to generate its own electrical and thermal power. The new plant is projected to save the Institute millions of dollars over the life of the plant through the technology of cogeneration. Through cogeneration, electrical and thermal power is generated simultaneously by utilizing the waste heat from a gas turbine to generate steam. This technology is approximately 18% more efficient than the technology that it replaces. MIT feels strongly that environmental preservation is more important than ever so they have utilized the latest technology available for reducing emissions into the air of Cambridge . The new technology used in the plant reduces emissions by 45% compared to the old system.  

                            University
of Maryland - College Park , Maryland

The Chesapeake Office Building, at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), utilizes two combined heat and power systems. The first system is comprised of two reciprocating engine driven air conditioners, a desiccant system, and an existing rooftop unit. The gas-fired engines provide steam to the desiccant dehumidifier, which then supplies dry air to the rooftop unit. 

Yearly savings for this system are approximately $10,000 with a 55% reduction in CO2

The second system includes a Honeywell Parallon 75 microturbine and absorption chiller for electric power and cooling requirements. Broad Air Conditioning in Changsha, China, is donating a 25 ton Lithium Bromide/Water chiller for the facility. The microturbine and the chiller will be shipped to UMCP in the spring and be operating in time for the cooling season. 

The Parallon 75 will produce electricity; recoverable heat from the unit will run the absorption chiller, avoiding the need for grid-connected electricity. The combination will be self sufficient, running on natural gas. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Broad Air Conditioning has been established which will allow the U.S. access to data generated during testing and operation of the system. Broad will also have access to data generated at the University of Maryland . The microturbine provides 75kW of electric power for the 51,000 ft2 building. Annual savings for the system are forecasted to be $25,000 with a 40% reduction in CO2.

Busch Cogeneration Project - Rutgers University , New Jersey

The Busch cogeneration project was designed as an addition to the existing central heating plant. The old plant consists of one 50 million Btu per hour and two 100 million

Btu per hour high temperature water heaters, which, like the new turbines, are also fueled by either natural gas or diesel fuel. This older portion of the total plant also contains two 250 Kilowatt diesel generators which can provide emergency power to the heating plant, as well as to the pressurizers, water softeners and makeup water de-aerators required by the high temperature hot water system. The new cogeneration plant water heaters will each recover up to 25 million Btu's per hour from the turbine exhaust, with an additional 25 million Btu's per hour available from the duct burners. This translates to a total heat output from the three turbine trains of 150 million Btu's per hour, which will maintain a 250,000 gallon water loop system at 370o F. The resulting facility is an integrated plant with a heating capacity of 400 million Btu's / hr, with emergency plant power capability in the unlikely event a facility wide power outage occurs. 


Diagram of the Cogeneration Plant at Rutgers University
 

 

 

 

About us  

 

For more information: call Monty Goodell at: 832-758-0027

Special thanks to the EPA, DOE, EIA, ASHRAE, and ACEEE for providing data and relevant information.