Alphabet Energy & Coyote North transform oil & gas enclosed flares into a new source for cleaner power generation

Source: Alphabet Energy

The PGC is a direct result of feedback from Alphabet Energy’s and Coyote North’s oil & gas customers who wrestle with the challenge of getting reliable electricity to their remote sites to optimize production and ensure safety.

Alphabet Energy, the global leader in thermoelectrics for waste heat to power (WHP), and Coyote North, a combustion technology expert and service provider, today announced the availability of the Power Generating Combustor (PGC™). Designed for Quad O compliance, the PGC™ is an integrated combustor and solid-state power generator that converts exhaust heat from enclosed flares into electrical power. By generating a new source of electrical power from enclosed flares, the PGC™ eliminates the need for diesel- and natural gas-powered generators and electrical grid connections at well pads, reducing costs of fuel, rental and maintenance, and eliminating emissions. The two companies are working together to jointly develop and distribute the new product.

The PGC™ is a direct result of feedback from Alphabet Energy’s and Coyote North’s oil & gas customers who wrestle with the challenge of getting reliable electricity to their remote sites to optimize production and ensure safety. After the deployment of Alphabet Energy’s first product for oil & gas, the E1™, midstream customers saw its immediate value in generating reliable, remote electricity from waste heat as a means to reduce OPEX and emissions. Asking for a way to extend this value to enclosed flares, Alphabet Energy and Coyote North joined efforts to design the PGC™, using Alphabet Energy’s proprietary PowerModules™. Coyote North will manufacture the PGC™ at its facility in Enid, Oklahoma and distribute the product to oil & gas producers and midstream operators through its existing channels. The two partners are currently executing a PGC™ installment at a customer’s well pad in Ohio’s Utica Shale region.

Improves OPEX; Ensures Safety

There are thousands of enclosed flares burning in the United States, all producing massive amounts of exhaust heat that could be recovered and converted into valuable electricity. The PGC™ is a two-part system that includes an enclosed flare, and a cap-like-designed thermoelectric generator, which attaches to the top of the enclosed flare. The underlying enclosed flare delivers high-temperature exhaust heat (across a range of fuel inputs and combustion temperatures) to Alphabet Energy’s PowerModules™ (each containing heat exchangers and Alphabet Energy’s proprietary thermoelectric material). The PGC™ converts the exhaust heat into electrical power, while still meeting on-site combustion requirements.

This currently offered PGC™ version will generate 2.5 kW of electricity, which is enough for well pad operators to optimize production and ensure site safety by running a variety of site electronics (e.g., process equipment and SCADA). For customers with larger onsite power requirements, a follow-on version of the PGC™, with increased power output, will be available in the future.

“Our customers tell us their flares are burning money,” said Mothusi Pahl, vice president of marketing and head of business development, oil & gas, Alphabet Energy. “By converting an enclosed flare’s exhaust heat into electricity, a well pad operator offsets thousands of dollars per month that would have been spent on generator fuel, rental and maintenance costs, all while ensuring site safety and reliability.”

Reduces Emissions

While the oil & gas industry explores ways to cut costs during a time of intense price volatility, it’s also under increasing pressure to meet stricter emissions standards after the implementation of US EPA Quad O Rules and the subsequent March 2016 announcement by the US and Canada to cut methane emissions from oil and gas by 45% below 2012 levels by 2025. Using the PGC™, well pad operators will immediately eliminate emissions that would have been produced by the diesel- and natural gas-powered generators that will be displaced by the cleaner electricity generated by the PGC™.

Coyote North Ltd., a combustion technology expert and service provider with operations in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada and Enid, Oklahoma, sees great potential for the PGC™. “At Coyote North, we scour the industry to make sure we’re seeing the best innovations and how they can be applied to advance combustor technologies,” said Brent Willey, president and owner, Coyote North. “Optimizing assets in the field to increase operational efficiency and reduce emissions is a huge win for our customers, and the PGC™ can do this time and time again for enclosed flares across the global oil & gas industry.”

By offsetting diesel- and natural gas-powered generators, the PGC™ has the potential to eliminate approximately 50 US tons of CO2; 1000 lbs. of NOx + NMHC; 900 lbs. of CO per flare, per year in the United States. If added to 60,000 enclosed flares in the US, the PGC™ could help eliminate approximately 3 million US tons of CO2; 30,000 US tons of NOx + NMHC; and 27,000 US tons of CO annually.

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