Electricity from Gas-Powered Generators
Through on-going investment in research and development GE’s gas engines remain market leaders in the gas engine field. The engines are highly efficient at the conversion of the energy within gas into useful electrical power. In the event that there is a local use for heat, the alternative combined heat and power configuration may be a more useful engine configuration.
Benefits of High Efficiency Electrical Power
High efficiency means:
- Reduced levels of fuel consumption
- Reduced emissions
- Reduced operational costs for each kilowatt hour generated
A GE’s Jenbacher gas engine is connected to an electrical generator by a drive coupling to produce electricity, typically as a genset. The generator is cabelled to an electrical circuit breaker to connect it to the site electrical system. This circuit breaker is used to synchronise the generate to the mains if it is to operate in parallel to the grid supply. The engine rotates at a constant 1,500 revolutions per minute regardless of the load. The generator has 4 poles which at 1,500 revolutions per minute operates at 50Hz to match the frequency of the mains.
Types of Electrical Generator
Electrical generation plants come in two main forms:
- Stable base load (continuous) generation
- Electricity peaking
Base-load electricity Base-load generation is useful where there is a stable source of fuel, such as natural, landfill or coal gas to power the generators. GE’s Jenbacher gas engines are renowned for their reliability in the field and when challenged with difficult gases. The generation of electricity alone typically takes place where there is no local need for heating and cooling. The power that is produced can either be exported to the local electricity grid, or alternatively be used in island mode operation to power local facilities.
Electrical peaking stations Electricity peaking stations, also called peak-lopping plants, are power plants designed to help balance the fluctuating power requirements of the electricity grid. Peaking stations typically operate in standby mode, then when there is a peak in demand for power from the electricity grid; the gas engines receive a signal to commence operation. Due to their flexibility and robustness they are able to provide a rapid response to fluctuating demand. They are then turned off as demand reduces. If you would like to find out more about the generation of electricity with gas engines, please contact your local Clarke Energy office.