Gen-sets slash emissions

  • 19-Jun-2008 08:36 EDT
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Deere employed a fixed-geometry turbo and cooled EGR to keep costs and emissions low.

Emissions regulations are prompting changes in the backup generation market. Suppliers in all ranges of the gen-set market are rolling out efficient, clean-running stationary engines.

Late last year, John Deere Power Systems (JDPS) unveiled the PowerTech E 9.0L, a gen-set engine that at 1800 rpm meets Tier 3 emissions regulations. The engine is targeted at the standby gen-set market, but also addresses the prime-power gen-set market. It has a maximum power rating of 315 kW (422 hp).

It also meets the low-cost demands of users who hope they rarely need these products.

“We removed the variable-geometry turbocharger, and cooled exhaust-gas recirculation [EGR],” said Matt Arnold, Product Planner at JDPS.

A fixed-geometry turbo eliminates significant costs, he added. It’s augmented by electronic controls and a high-pressure common-rail fuel system.

Caterpillar is also addressing emissions with its G3520E natural-gas-fueled generator set. The unit operates at 50 Hz/1500 rpm, with a 2000-kW (2682-hp) rating, and has a standard NOx emissions rating of 500 mg/Nm3.

A key factor in meeting NOx requirements is a gas engine control module that regulates ignition, engine governing, and air/fuel ratio. The engine also features an individual-cylinder detonation sensing and timing control, with a prechamber-type spark plug design for extended service life without adjustment.

Engine suppliers are not alone in their focus on curbing emissions. Alternative energy sources such as fuel cells and solar energy are being examined as an adjunct power source.

Mixing these technologies with existing backup supplies will not be a simple task.

Tool providers such as Opal-RT Technologies let engineers and system integrators simulate their power systems to determine the best techniques for combining multiple power sources. The company’s software also helps companies determine how to efficiently implement conventional gen-set equipment.

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