Gas generator set applications
Gas generator sets are primarily used in the following sectors:
Associated gas is resulting from the extraction of crude oil or from gas deposits. By using it, the cogeneration plant located near the wellhead produces electricity delivered in the grid and thermal energy (hot water, steam)- for local use on site.
Commercial and industrial facilities
Many commercial facilities such as resorts, shopping malls, high-rise office buildings, universities, data centers and hospitals, as well as industrial plants, refineries and district heating plants can reduce operating costs by implementing a CHP system using clean pipeline natural gas as a fuel source.
Greenhouse facilities also utilise natural gas with a CHP system. Caterpillar gas generator sets can provide electricity for electrical loads, heat energy for warming greenhouses and recycled carbon dioxide from the engine exhaust as an organic fertiliser.
Electric utilities can operate Caterpillar gas generator sets continuously. This is particularly advantageous in the absence of a reliable centralised power plant, or where it is simply cheaper and more reliable to produce electricity with natural gas instead of at a centralised plant.
Around the world, Cat gas generator sets are also commonly applied to flexibly and economically respond to peak utility demands that occur daily or seasonally.
Agriculture and food processing
Biogas, derived as a by-product of many agricultural, food processing and industrial processes, is used as a fuel source for Caterpillar generator sets. They are specifically designed to operate on biogas, thus reducing operating costs. Low-consumption fuel generator sets are engineered to handle fuel with variations in methane content typical of biogas operations.
Cat switchgear and master controls parallel the generator set to the local electrical grid to export renewable power. Otherwise power can be distributed and used locally. For more remote installations, the power produced can be consumed by the facilities on site.
Landfill gas, composed mostly of methane and carbon dioxide, is produced naturally as organic waste decomposes in landfills. Driven to reduce their carbon footprint, modern sanitary landfills capture this gas for use as a renewable fuel in specially configured Cat landfill power systems. These systems deliver reliable and environmentally sound electricity to the local community.
Wastewater treatment plants
Many wastewater treatment facilities use waste methane gas from plant processes as a fuel source. This gas is comprised of methane and carbon dioxide generated by wastewater digesters used in the water treatment process. Cat generator sets utilise the fuel to provide the plant with electricity and heat to serve plant thermal loads and accelerate the wastewater treatment process.
Cat natural gas power plants can reliably support the operations associated with mining minerals such as copper, iron ore, gold and silver in the absence of a reliable centralised electric utility. Mining power systems are designed to handle the demanding transient load cycles specific to mining operations.
Worldwide population growth is driving an increasing demand for new sources of electric power generation. At the same time, an increasing focus on efficiency and reduced waste in the power generation sector is driving change in the use of alternative conventional and unconventional gaseous fuels.
Today, Caterpillar is collaborating with dealers and customers around the world to develop Cat generator sets that can operate on specialty fuels such as syngas, coke oven gas, blast furnace gas and high energy gas.