Dresser Waukesha Receives DOE Grant for Combined Heat and Power

Dresser Waukesha, a manufacturer of natural gas engines, has received a $6.6 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop an environmentally friendly combined heat and power (CHP) engine-generator system.

CHP systems are highly efficient, because in addition to generating electricity, they utilize the engine’s “waste heat” for various purposes including industrial processes, heating and cooling buildings and creating steam. This effectively doubles the amount of usable energy created by the engine, without using additional fuel. The project to which Dresser Waukesha will add $5 million of its own funding will focus on lowering emissions levels while maintaining high total energy efficiency in a durable, reliable system.

The CHP system will produce 1 to 1.5 MW of electricity, and up to 1.5 MW of hot water, and/or steam for use in commercial and industrial applications. Used alone or grouped with other units, this high efficiency engine will be a building block in developing gas-driven power generation solutions that meet customer needs for both thermal and electrical power.

This program includes a field test that will demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of this advanced engine-generator system. This CHP package is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by one-third, compared to generating electricity in a coal power plant and heat in a separate, natural gas-fueled boiler.

“While CHP has made major inroads in very large applications of 50 MW and larger, the smaller industrial applications between 5 kilowatts and 50 megawatts have not been fully developed,” the Department of Energy noted in its initial announcement of funding opportunities. “This is largely due to the lack of cost-competitive options in this size range. These technologies, when deployed commercially, will enable the US industry to reduce natural gas consumption and expand the use of combined heat and power (CHP) applications.”

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