GCGE Generates Fuel-Free Power at South Texas Gas Compressor Station


ElectraTherm Green Machine Surpasses 2,000 Hours Run Time on Internal Combustion Engine

Bay City, TX (SMU) – March 17, 2011 –  ElectraTherm’s Gulf Coast distributor, Gulf Coast Green Energy (GCGE), is generating fuel-free, emission free power using the ElectraTherm heat-to-power “Green Machine” to efficiently capture excess heat generated by the cooling of a natural gas compressor internal combustion engine (ICE). The machine continues operation and has logged more than 2,000 hours of power generation to date.

ElectraTherm’s Green Machine generates clean power by harnessing excess heat from ICEs that would otherwise go to waste. Natural gas must be compressed at regular intervals to keep it flowing through pipelines. Waste heat is created by the ICEs that drive the natural gas compressor. The Green Machine captures the heat from the jacket water, converting it into electricity.

GCGE teamed with a natural gas compression services company and a South Texas natural gas field to show that the ElectraTherm machine could be used effectively on a gas compressor engine. This project marks the first commercial ICE application of the Green Machine, which captures surplus heat from a Waukesha 5794 and generates emission-free electricity that can be used for on-site power needs or supplied to the local electricity grid. The waste heat removed by the Green Machine is equivalent to increased engine cooling capacity, a significant benefit for compressor engines in the heat of summer.

“Natural gas compressor stations powered by internal combustion engines are located all over North America, and these waste heat streams can be captured to generate additional power and cool the engine at the same time,” GCGE President Loy Sneary said. “This is energy efficiency at its best, and we expect to see many more ICE applications in the future.”

Since the machine went online last year, it has generated 14.2 MWh gross with 95 percent uptime in the past three months, enough to power more than 20 homes. This is the first ICE application of ElectraTherm’s Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, powered by its patented Twin Screw Expander.

ElectraTherm’s heat-to-power technology can convert sources of low-temperature heat (ICE jacket water, biomass, etc.) into power. With 10 units in the field, ElectraTherm’s Green Machine has accrued more than 6,000 hours of fleet run time — more than 11,000 hours, including test cell operations.

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