THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 17


Growing Interest in
Natural Gas Power and CHP
CHP systems are DG technologies-
an engine, turbine, or fuel cells-that
use an energy conversion device to
capture heat during electric generation
otherwise exhausted into the
atmosphere. The captured heat is used
to produce hot water, steam, or cooling
at industrial or larger commercial sites,
for example. There is growing interest
in using micro-CHP systems in smaller
commercial buildings as well as single
or multifamily homes. CHP enables end
users to save on energy costs; increase
total energy efficiency compared with
conventional power-only technologies,
as well as enhances power reliability.
"A major attraction of CHP is that it's
a proven technology," says William Liss,
Managing Director at Gas Technology
Institute (GTI), a leading research, and
training organization addressing the
nation's energy and environmental
challenges. "In one form or another,
it's been around for almost a century.
CHP can be a cost-effective pathway
to meaningful energy efficiency
improvements and carbon emission
reductions. Energy and environmental
concerns coupled with a growing
domestic natural gas supply-and lower
gas prices-are expanding opportunities
for natural gas CHP."
The U.S. has about 82 gigawatts (GW)
of installed CHP capacity, with more
than 57 GW using natural gas. In terms of
capacity, these are mainly 10 megawatts
(MW) and larger gas turbine units.
Since 2010, however, there has been an
increased use of smaller DG options:
natural gas engines, microturbines, and
fuel cell CHP systems. These account
for more than 87 percent of newer CHP
installations.
Natural gas DG technologies continue
to evolve. For example, reciprocating
engine technology is well-established,
but continues to evolve to meet
increasing consumer and regulatory
demands. Over the past 25 years, large
natural gas reciprocating engines (more
than one MW) have seen a remarkable

All Natural Gas CHP Systems

Sites

% Total
153

Steam Turbines/Boilers

Capacity
(MW)

% Total

5.2%

4,183

7.3%

625

21.3%

51,741

90.2%

1,705

58.2%

1,284

2.2%

Microturbines

312

10.6%

73

0.1%

Fuel Cells

137

4.7%

57

0.1%

2,932

 

57,338

% Total

Capacity
(MW)

Gas Turbines/Combined Cycle
Reciprocating Engines

Totals
2010 and Newer
Natural Gas CHP Systems

Sites

 
% Total

9

2.1%

21

2.6%

45

10.3%

580

71.6%

260

59.5%

154

19.0%

Microturbines

66

15.1%

27

3.3%

Fuel Cells

57

13.0%

28

3.5%

Steam Turbines/Boilers
Gas Turbines/Combined Cycle
Reciprocating Engines

Totals

437

 

810  

Source: DOE/ICF CHP Database
improvement in efficiency, power
density, cost, and emissions. These
positive attributes are increasingly
influencing the purchase decisions of
consumers. For example, the one to
five MW natural gas engine market has
grown substantially since 1990 and
now far outpaces gas turbine sales in
that range. There are many companies
providing natural gas engines for use
in CHP systems, including Caterpillar,
Cummins, GE (Jenbacher), Wartsila, 2G

Energy, Tecogen, and others. There are
about 1,700 gas engine CHP sites in the
U.S., totaling nearly 1,300 MW.
Alongside the evolution of larger gas
engines, small-scale turbine technology
has progressed as well, starting with
the introduction of microturbine power
generation systems by Capstone Turbine
Corporation in 2000.
These smaller gas turbines have taken
on a greater market role below one MW
than was possible with conventional

THE SOURCE | WINTER 2016, VOL. 9, ISSUE 2 17



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Winter 2016

First Person
APGA Events
Industry Update: Furnace Rule Report
The Future of Natural Gas in Zero Energy Building Design
Bringing Success to Succession in the Utility World
Taking a Fresh Look at Distributed Generation and CHP
Why Energy Codes Matter and How They Impact Your Utility
Environmental Group and Utility Work Together
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - bellyband1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - bellyband2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 6
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 9
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Industry Update: Furnace Rule Report
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - The Future of Natural Gas in Zero Energy Building Design
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 12
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 13
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Bringing Success to Succession in the Utility World
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 15
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Taking a Fresh Look at Distributed Generation and CHP
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 17
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 18
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 19
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Why Energy Codes Matter and How They Impact Your Utility
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 21
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Environmental Group and Utility Work Together
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 23
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 25
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 28
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 29
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 30
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert4
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