Guess what this gas engine eats

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GE-2
Courtesy of GE

Guess what this gas engine eats

Sponsor generated content

GE-2

A global fleet of omnivorous power plants powered by a breed of advanced GE gas engines is already feasting on bio gas produced from cheese whey, whiskey mash, and even discarded school lunches. Now, the menu is expanding to synthetic gas, or syngas, made from straw and wood chips.

In Bulgaria, a new five-megawatt power plant will burn the syngas in three Jenbacher gas engines that can generate enough electricity to power 2,000 homes. This new syngas power plant will help Bulgaria, a member of the European Union, hit its target of producing 16 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The plant will produce the syngas on site using a process called integrated biomass gasification, which is much more efficient than burning the original fuel directly. GE, which makes the Jenbacher engines used in the gasification process, estimates that the power plant can reach nearly 70 percent combined heat and power efficiency. The most efficient coal-fired power plants hit 50 percent.

EQTEC Iberia, the company behind the gasification technology, has produced syngas from almond and coconut shells, olive pits and pulp, and even grape pomace. They are currently developing systems for gasifying chicken litter, old tires, and sewage sludge.

There are hundreds of Jenbacher gas engines working around the world. Jenbachers already supply power to remote towns and villages, help cities integrate renewable energy into the power grid, and also serve as community anchors in times of crisis.

For example, when Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines last November, one structure that survived the storm’s 150-mile-per-hour winds in Bogo City was a Jenbacher engine. It became a respite for locals to recharge their phones, access the Internet, and get updates about their families.

On the other side of the globe, in Germany, a group of Jenbachers is helping the Bavarian town of Rosenheim incorporate solar and wind power into the grid.

“This is why distributed power is so attractive,” says Scott Nolen, field application and technical solutions executive for Distributed Power at GE Power & Water. “You have the capability to supply the engines all over the place where people need heat and power, and get maximum efficiency out of every precious hydrocarbon molecule you have to burn.”

The Jenbacher engine sits at the core of GE’s new Distributed Power business, which the company launched in February. The business unit combines GE’s power generation technology—like the Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines—with so-called “aeroderivatives,” a family of nimble gas turbines built around GE’s jet engines.

These aeroderivatives are used as mobile power plants to generate electricity in desert towns in Africa, as a backup power for hospitals and universities in the US, and as a power source for remote industrial installations, such as LNG plants.

Perhaps it would be helpful to know what these aeroderivatives are going to be used for? The are used as mobile power plants to generate electricity on desert towns in Africa, as a backup power for hospitals and universities in the U.S., and to power remote industrial installations like LNG plants.