Reciprocating Engine Generators Application Note - Energy - Power Distribution
Reciprocating Engine Generators are a trusted method of providing reliable electric power for small-to medium-scale operations.Driven by the benefits of lower costs and risks, gas-powered reciprocating engines are increasingly being used in place of combined-cycle gas turbine power plants.While the reciprocating engines deliver greater flexibility, especially with regards to the use of renewable fuels such as biogas, they still require precise gas monitoring to ensure emissions limits are met.AMETEK Land’s solution is the FGA, an accurate and reliable multi-gas analyser that meets the requirements for a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) at the lowest cost possible. Providing reassurance to the engine operator, it keeps the process efficient by improving fuel efficiency and protects against potential emissions liabilities.
A reciprocating internal combustion engine uses the heat from burning fuel to drive pistons in multiple cylinders. A crankshaft converts the reciprocating motion into a rotating motion, which drives an electrical generator.
The engine can be powered by the combustion of petrol, oil, or natural gas fuels. Although diesel cycle, compression-ignition engines have traditionally been preferred, most modern electricity generators use lean-burn spark-ignition engines to minimise harmful emissions.
These types of engines are flexible and offer lower permitting requirements, providing a useful source of back-up power to balance the energy grid, or the main source of power for micro-grids.
They are often used to power electricity generators in remote locations, and as back-up power generators for small communities.
Reciprocating engines have been around for a long time, and so offer a proven, robust technology for power applications of a smaller scale than gas and steam turbine systems.
They have a fast start-up and shutdown time, are operationally more forgiving than turbines, and deliver a significant amount of energy at a consistent level - this provides flexibility to a power grid using large amounts of intermittent renewables.
However, like all combustion-driven power sources, they are constantly under scrutiny for the amount of emissions they generate, and combustion efficiency is key to their effective operation.
Gas-powered engines are increasingly popular because they are cleaner than traditional coal-fired boilers, having much lower emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2).As an added benefit, they can use renewable fuels such as biogas produced by anaerobic digesters.
The key pollutants from gas-powered applications are oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO).
NOx and CO are harmful gases, with environmental regulations In place to confirm that they must be monitored In Industrial processes. Oxygen (0?) Is a required measurement to ensure that emissions can be adjusted to account for the dilution effect.
Usually, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) process is used to reduce NOx emissions - monitoring these emissions assures compliance with regulations.
Monitoring O? and CO also allows the ratio between air and fuel to be adjusted to achieve optimum combustion efficiency.
An integrated, all-in-one continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) provides several advantages to this smaller power generation process. It is easier to use than large-scale systems, and is far less expensive to install. The technology is well-proven and can be located close to the required measurement point.
AMETEK Land's FGA multi-gas analyser provides a compact and Inexpensive solution that Is well suited to measurements on smaller-scale power generation systems such as reciprocating engine.
It Is a compact, integrated CEMS. designed for flue gas measurements on processes burning natural gas.
The FGA provides accurate measurements of CO, NO and 0> in flue gases, and can use these to calculate the levels of NOx and carbon dioxide (CO?). It features a fully weatherproof enclosure sealed to IP65 and optional heating or cooling for extreme environments. Engineered for ease of maintenance, the FGA in simple to install and operate, and has MCERTS QAL1 approval for emissions measurements in Europe. It also meets the requirements of US EPA Performance Specifications 2,3 and A for the relevant gases.
The FGA works by extracting flue gas through a sample probe; the gas Is then transported via a sample line to the analyser.
A chiller removes moisture, and the sample is filtered to remove particulates.
A pair of electrochemical sensors Is used to measure each species, with the sensors alternating every 30 minutes. This sequence extends the sensor lifetime and ensures a stable baseline, essential for low-level measurements.
- Integrated, compact design International approvals
- Fully weatherproof
- Dual-sensor technology for stability
- Low maintenance requirements
- Automatic calibration
- Easy to install and service
- Suilable (or compliance measurements
- High sensitivity and low drift
- Provides more information for better process control
- No specialist skills are needed
- Continuous, unattended operation
For added peace of mind, the FGA can be supported by AMETEK Land's compact, portable multi-gas analyser, the Lancom 4.
This provides highly accurate spot and semi-continuous gas testing, allowing measurements at other points of the process as well as reassurance that the FGA continues to operate accurately.
Easy to set up and operate, the Lancom 4 can measure up to eight flue gases simultaneously, with nine separate sensors, in a range of combustion and emission processes.All the major flue gases are monitored, using a combination of sensor types – electrochemical (for O2, CO, SO2, NO, NO2 and H2S), infrared (for CO2) and pellistor/catalytic (for hydrocarbons).
Our global service centres provide after-sales services to ensure you get the best performance from your system. This includes technical support, certification, calibration, commissioning, repairs, servicing, preventative maintenance and training. Our highly trained technicians/engineers can also attend your site to cover planned maintenance schedules and repair emergency breakdowns.