Advanced Integrated Energy System at a National Hotel Resort
An advanced integrated energy system integrates a propane-fueled
combined heat and power system into a hotel’s existing electric,
heating, and cooling systems. A propane-fueled CHP system was installed
and demonstrated at a resort in Hawaii, during which researchers
evaluated the economics of the system, conducted training, and developed
an expanded laboratory program for testing high-output reciprocating
engine generator sets based on fuel quality.
Advanced Premium Generator Set
Advanced Premium generator sets use Polar Power Inc.’s low-cost,
efficient 8000 series alternator and standard Supra controller with one
of four different engines, including the Kawasaki FD 750D,
Lombardi/Kohler LGW627, and Daihatsu 950 P. Researchers have built,
tested, and demonstrated the Advanced Premium generator sets, which have
been produced at a small scale and evaluated for performance level and
Advanced Propane Generator System
A heavy-duty, lean-burn, high-efficiency propane generator system produces 22 percent net kilowatt electric output with maintenance intervals of over 4,000 hours and a projected life of 40,000 hours. The system, which includes a 300-square-foot generator/battery/inverter room, was installed and demonstrated at Denali National Park Visitor Center in Alaska.
Cogeneration Demonstration at a Pennsylvania Hydroponic Greenhouse
This study demonstrated a 90 percent energy-efficient cogeneration system featuring a Marathon Ecopower propane engine with selective catalytic reduction to treat exhaust gas. The 5-kilowatt electric/14-kilowatt thermal combined heat and power system produced electricity, heated water, and fertilized crops with the carbon dioxide generated by the system at the hydroponic greenhouse.
Combined Heat and Power Systems for Residential Applications Comparison
Residential combined heat and power technology fueled by propane
provides heat and power in an efficient way to homes and small
businesses. An extensive review of existing CHP technology was conducted
to compare the systems’ performance to electric heat pumps and
conventional vapor-compression air conditioning systems using propane
furnaces for heating.
Continuous-Duty Propane Generator
A continuous-duty propane generator can be incorporated into an existing electrical system to provide supplemental power. A 5-kilowatt continuous-duty propane generator at Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska was integrated into the reconstruction of its electrical system to replace its diesel generator, which has allowed it to serve as a case study for other parks.
Distributed Generation Demonstration Program
The distributed generation demonstration program provides support to successful propane distributed generation demonstration projects to move them closer to commercialization and raise overall awareness of propane distributed generation equipment. Projects for Phase 1 of the program were selected through a formal solicitation process and included the following:
Climate Energy Hydronic Combined Heat and Power — Climate Energy’s project demonstrated a hydronic micro-combined heat and power system using a Honda power generation unit at a Massachusetts home.
Energy Alternatives Micro-cogeneration — The Energy Alternatives project took place in rural Alaska, where a micro-cogeneration system manufactured by Yanmar was installed and monitored over a year.
National Park Service Micro-grid —The National Park Service project replaced current diesel generators with a more efficient propane system to create a micro-grid at the Kennecott Historical Mine at Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
North Carolina Solar Center Propane-Solar Combined Heat and Power —The project conducted by North Carolina Solar Center, based at North Carolina State University, demonstrated a hybrid propane-solar combined heat and power system at a marketer’s bulk plant facility.
The success of Phase 1 encouraged the establishment of Phase 2, which will involve the selection and promotion of an additional four to six demonstration projects focusing on products that are near commercialization.
EcoGen Premium Generator Set
The 6-kilowatt premium Generac generator set has 500-hour maintenance
intervals and a normal operating life of 10 years or 5,000 hours. The
generator set was developed to integrate with renewable resources like
wind and solar as part of a small-scale renewable hybrid power
generation system. Seven of the 6-kilowatt sets are being demonstrated
in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service, large specialty
wholesalers/distributors serving the renewable energy space, and leading
inverter manufacturers serving the off-grid space.
Ecopower Micro-CHP Conversion
The Ecopower micro-CHP remote power electric generator was originally
sold in Europe and met European grid standards. This effort converted
the propane-fueled Ecopower micro-CHP to the U.S. electric standard for
use in homes and light commercial applications. Three units were also
demonstrated in selected U.S. residences.
Freewatt Plus Micro-CHP System
Freewatt Plus is a micro-CHP system that combines an advanced warm-air or hydronic furnace with a 1.2-kilowatt propane-fueled engine generator to form a unique distributed generation system. To develop the system, researchers quantified the performance, economic, and environmental benefits of similar systems and documented the installation process of the propane system as compared with conventional high-efficiency warm-air furnaces. Freewatt Plus underwent field-testing and a one-year demonstration to prepare it for market entry.
Gas-Fired Residential Combined Heat and Power Feasibility Study and System Specification
This study evaluated the feasibility of a gas-fired residential combined
heat and power system in terms of consumer cost of purchased power
versus "home generated" power (i.e., cost of fuel, utilized heat energy
from on-site generation, grid-friendliness of the system, cost of owning
Heavy-Duty Residential and Commercial Hybrid Generator
Kohler’s heavy-duty generator produces a 6-kilowatt direct current
output for use with renewable energy sources and 14- to 18-kilowatt
alternating current output for accommodating large loads in residential
and commercial off-grid hybrid applications. The system is currently
under development and will be commercialized upon completion.
Hybrid Power Systems for Rural Tribal Communities
Hybrid power systems combine a propane generator set and solar or wind
energy to provide reliable, on-site power. Areas such as remote tribal
communities stand to benefit from this type of system. To assess the
technical and economic viability of using this system in a tribal
community, researchers documented the service and installation
requirements in a typical tribal community and developed the necessary
elements for an on-site technology demonstration.
Hybrid Propane-Solar Generator System Engines
Propane-fueled engines provide supplemental power to hybrid systems.
Researchers developed and demonstrated durable, economically priced
engines for use in hybrid solar energy generating systems.
Hybrid Propane-Solar Power Station Demonstration and Display
A commercial micro-power plant integrating a propane generator, solar
cells, battery storage, and a power control system was demonstrated in
an edge-of-grid application. A propane-solar hybrid generator set was
also displayed at the 2007 World LP Gas Association Forum. The displayed
generator set operated at 10 kilowatt-hours per day with approximately
2-kilowatt extended output capacity, 4 kilowatts of peak power for five
minutes every hour, and surge capability sufficient to start a small
Hybrid Propane-Solar Project for Urban/Municipal Applications
A propane-solar hybrid backup power system is a 2-kilowatt system
composed of several solar photovoltaic panels, a propane-fueled
generator, several standard-sized batteries, and a propane cylinder.
Researchers evaluated the technical feasibility of installing this
system for use in urban/municipal applications.
Marathon Propane Engine and Generators
Marathon adapted its natural gas engine to run on propane for air
conditioning and electric power generation applications. The
propane-fueled engine was performance tested and evaluated to determine
the engine design configurations most suitable for reliable operation
when used in air conditioning and electric power generation
applications. Using this engine, Marathon developed and commercialized
an engine systems generator and micro-cogeneration product line that is
optimized to provide electric power to remote locations.
Market Assessment: Propane Distributed Generation
The Propane Distributed Generation Market Assessment is an evaluation of
the technologies, markets, and trends for propane-fueled distributed
generation applications of less than 1 megawatt. The study estimated the
market and propane volume potential for the different distributed
generation market segments. This research provides the basis for the
development of a commercialization plan to help the propane industry
realize the potential market for propane-fueled distributed generation.
Micro-CHP Systems for Residential Applications
A residential micro-CHP system provides on-site heat and power for homes and small businesses. This system was developed along with a commercialization strategy for market entry that included identifying the market potential and market requirements of micro-CHP systems, assessing the technology, and developing a proof-of-principle system design for a micro-CHP system.
Midsize Extended-Run Generator
Generac’s midsize extended-run generator is an air-cooled 11-kilowatt
generator set with a 5,000-hour life expectancy and 500-hour maintenance
intervals. Currently under development, the generator will be
commercialized for use in grid-tied green homes, telecommunications, and
utility demand response.
Mobile Propane-Powered Surveillance Unit
A mobile propane-powered surveillance system can be used in border
security, civilian police use, and temporary private security
applications. The unit was constructed and underwent unattended
operation testing for two months with one refueling cycle.
Portable Propane Generator Line
Generac’s line of 1.6- to 5.0-kilowatt portable generators integrate
Department of Transportation-approved propane cylinders into the design
of the generator, eliminating the need for an external generator. The
line is currently being designed and will undergo testing and eventual
Reciprocating Propane Engine Combined Heat and Power System
A reciprocating propane engine combined heat and power system captures
thermal energy for water and space heating. This system was demonstrated
at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to evaluate the system’s ability to
provide continuous power to coffee roasting and packaging operations.
Yanmar Micro-CHP System
The Yanmar Micro-CHP system is a propane-fueled micro-cogeneration
system for use in small rural facilities where power line extension and
electric reliability come at a premium. Based on the work researchers
did to accelerate the commercialization of this system, Yanmar is
developing a 10-kilowatt version that uses better emissions controls,
incorporates an off-grid inverter to enable uninterrupted power supply,
and has a web-based access control system. The 10-kilowatt system will
undergo testing, demonstration, and emissions testing and verification.