GE introduces fuel flexible Waukesha gas engine for smaller biogas projects

Source: GE

Expanding the company’s lineup of biogas engines for a wider range of power outputs, GE (NYSE: GE) introduced its Waukesha APG1000 gas engine that can utilize a broader variety of biogases, including from landfills, wastewater treatment plants and agricultural waste. GE unveiled the 1-megawatt (MW) APG1000 gas engine at the Solid Waste Association of North America’s 2011 WASTECON Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

The Waukesha unit’s expanded biogas capabilities are the result of an 18-month redesign and testing initiative that includes modifications to the combustion chamber; a new spark plug design; and a new fuel control system that simplifies engine start-up and operation. For example, the engine’s greater fuel tolerances allow it to handle fluctuations in the thermal quality of the biogas with little or no manual intervention.

These modifications were required to address the unique operational challenges of using biogases and were validated at both landfill and digester biogas-to-energy project sites.

“The APG1000’s new biogas fuel system has made a significant improvement to the engine’s load stability, despite fluctuations in the heating value of the fuel gas,” said Bob Weston, managing director, Entec Services Limited. “This is particularly beneficial on smaller digester and landfill sites, which, by their nature, are more prone to varying fuel quality. The new system provides an automated response to fuel gas fluctuations that results in faster, more reliable engine starts as well as more consistent engine output with less manual intervention. These benefits can lead to decreased operating costs and increased revenues for operators. “

The introduction of the APG1000 for small biogas projects illustrates the strategy behind GE’s recent acquisitions of Dresser Inc., Waukesha Engine’s parent company, as well as Calnetix Power Solutions, which developed Clean Cycle, a small 125-kilowatt (kW) waste-heat power generation module that boosts the efficiency of small biogas projects. 

“Our introduction of the Waukesha APG1000 biogas engine helps us address the demand for more biogas engine choices in the lower output range as more industrial customers seek to recycle their own waste gases to generate cleaner and more cost-effective onsite power,” said Rafael Santana, CEO-Gas Engines for GE Power & Water. “While GE’s fuel-flexible, Jenbacher gas engines already are a popular global solution for distributed energy projects in the larger 3 to 4-MW output range, our Waukesha gas engine and Clean Cycle systems helps GE meet the demand for gas engines for smaller onsite power projects around the world.”

The APG1000 is available for natural gas and biogas applications, with the option of also incorporating Waukesha combined heat and power technology:

• APG1000 Enginator genset rated at 1,014 kWe at 50 Hz (1500 rpm) and 1,117 kWe at 60Hz (1,800 rpm).

• 16V150 LTD Engine rated at 1,038 kWb at 50 Hz (1500 rpm) and 1,142 kWe at 60Hz (1,800 rpm).

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