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CHP R&D Project Descriptions

The CHP R&D project portfolio includes advanced reciprocating engine systems (ARES), packaged CHP systems, high-value applications, fuel-flexible CHP, and demonstrations of these technologies. Project fact sheets and short project descriptions are provided below:

Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems

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Packaged CHP Systems

  • Combined Heat and Power Integrated with Burners for Packaged Boilers

    CMCE, Inc., in collaboration with Altex Technologies Corporation, developed the Boiler Burner Energy System Technology (BBEST), a CHP assembly of a gas-fired simple-cycle 100 kilowatt (kW) microturbine and a new ultra-low NOx gas-fired burner, to increase acceptance of small CHP systems.

  • Flexible CHP System with Low NOx, CO and VOC Emissions

    The Gas Technology Institute, in collaboration with Cannon Boiler Works, Integrated CHP Systems Corp., Capstone Turbine Corporation, Johnston Boiler Company, and Inland Empire Foods has developed a Flexible Combined Heat and Power (FlexCHP) system that incorporates a supplemental Ultra-Low-NOx (ULN) burner into a 65 kW microturbine and a heat recovery boiler. The ULN burner is expected to help the CHP system meet stringent emissions criteria and improve overall system efficiency in a cost-effective manner.

  • High Efficiency Microturbine with Integral Heat Recovery

    Capstone Turbine Corporation, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA Glenn Research Center, is developing a clean, cost-effective 370 kW microturbine with 42% net electrical efficiency and 85% total CHP efficiency. The microturbine technology will maximize usable exhaust energy and achieve ultra-low emissions levels.

  • Low-Cost Packaged Combined Heat and Power System with Reduced Emissions

    Cummins Power Generation, in collaboration with Cummins Engine Business Unit, is developing a flexible, packaged CHP system that produces 330 kW of electrical power output and 410 kW of thermal output while increasing efficiency and reducing emissions and cost. The project will result in the highest-efficiency and lowest-emissions system for a CHP project less than 1 megawatt (MW) in size.

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High-Value Applications

  • Flexible Distributed Energy and Water from Waste for the Food and Beverage Industry

    GE Global Research, in collaboration with GE Water & Process Technologies, GE Intelligent Platforms, SRA International, and Anheuser-Busch, developed a systematic plant-wide automation for online monitoring and supervisory control. The system enhances the robust and reliable operation of the waste-to-value plant by reducing frequency upsets by up to 90%. As the technology matures and demonstrates its value, it can likely be expanded to other industries with similar high-organics wastewater effluent such as biofuels, pulp, and paper.

  • Microchannel High Temperature Recuperator for Fuel Cell Systems
    (Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

    FuelCell Energy, Inc., in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Oregon State University Materials Institute, the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute, and the Oregon Nanoscience and Materials Institute, developed an efficient, microchannel-based waste heat recuperator for a high-temperature fuel cell system. This technology increases the efficiency of fuel cells and improves their performance in distributed energy applications.

  • Novel Controls for Economic Dispatch of Combined Cooling, Heating and Power (CCHP) Systems
    (Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

    University of California, Irvine, in collaboration with Siemens Corporate Research, will develop and demonstrate novel algorithms and dynamic control technology for optimal economic use of CCHP systems under 5 MW. The control systems and technologies under development are expected to increase market penetration of CCHP systems in the light industrial, commercial, and institutional markets.

  • Residential Multi-Function Gas Heat Pump

    Southwest Gas Corporation, in collaboration with IntelliChoice Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will develop hardware and software for engine and system controls for a residential gas heat pump system that will provide space cooling, heating, and hot water. The project will build on system concepts and technical solutions developed for an 11-ton packaged natural gas heat pump.

  • Ultra Efficient Combined Heat, Hydrogen, and Power System

    FuelCell Energy, Inc., in collaboration with Abbott Furnace Company, is developing a combined heat, hydrogen, and power (CHHP) system that utilizes reducing gas produced by a high-temperature fuel cell to directly replace hydrogen in metal treatment and other industrial processes.

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Fuel-Flexible CHP

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  • ArcelorMittal USA Blast Furnace Gas Flare Capture
    (Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

    ArcelorMittal USA, Inc.'s Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago, Indiana, installed an energy recovery boiler system that produces steam from previously wasted blast furnace gas that was flared into the atmosphere during iron making operations. The steam drives existing turbo-generators at the facility to generate 333,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity and reduce CO2 emissions by 340,000 tons annually.

  • BroadRock Renewables Combined Cycle Electric Generating Plants Fueled by Waste Landfill Gas
    (Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

    BroadRock Renewables LLC, in collaboration with DCO Energy, operates combined cycle electric generating plants at the Central Landfill in Johnston, Rhode Island, and Olinda Alpha Landfill in Brea, California. The Rhode Island plant is the second-largest landfill-gas-to-electricity facility in the United States. The facility generates 33.4 MW of power and saves 2.1 trillion Btu annually from the landfill gas that would otherwise be flared. The California plant is the third-largest landfill-gas-to-electricity facility in the United States. The facility generates 32.5 MW of power and saves 2.2 trillion Btu annually from the landfill gas that would otherwise be flared.

  • Combustion Turbine CHP System for Food Processing Industry

    Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, in cooperation with the Energy Solutions Center, is demonstrating and evaluating a CHP plant at a large food processing facility in Connecticut. CHP generation is reducing the energy costs and environmental impact of the facility while easing congestion on the constrained Northeast power grid. The fact sheet contains performance data from the plant after one year of operation.

  • Texas A&M University CHP System
    (Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

    Texas A&M University (Texas A&M), in collaboration with Harvey Cleary Builders and Jacobs Engineering Group, installed a 45 MW high-efficiency, natural gas-fired CHP system consisting of a 34 MW combustion turbine, a 210,000-pound-per-hour (pph) heat recovery steam generator, and an 11 MW steam turbine generator. The system can operate as a baseload system to serve 75% of Texas A&M's peak power needs, 65% of total electrical energy needs, and 80% of the heating loads (steam for cooling included). The system also enables Texas A&M to isolate critical campus electrical loads to maintain service during grid disruptions.

  • Thermal Energy Corporation Combined Heat and Power Project
    (Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

    Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO), in collaboration with Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc., operates the largest chilled water district energy system in the United States at the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. TECO installed a new high-efficiency natural gas-fired CHP system capable of producing 48 MW of on-site generation and 330,000 pph of steam, a 75,000 ton-hour (8.8 million gallon) thermal energy storage tank, and an additional 32,000 tons of chilled water capacity. The CHP system can operate as a baseload system to serve 100% of the TECO plant peak electrical load and 100% of TECO customers' peak process and space heating loads. The system also enables the entire TECO plant to continue operations and provide uninterrupted energy services to TECO customers in the event of a prolonged grid outage.

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