The market for mobile and smaller-scale power generation continues to grow. Commercial and industrial sites are using generators to produce their own power, often to ensure a constant flow of electricity in the event of an outage, or to provide generation in remote locations. The prevalence of severe weather events in many locations in recent years also has contributed to growth in the residential generator market. A need for reliable backup power, and the wish for more resiliency in generation, is driving the use of generators. Natural gas and diesel are the most common fuels for generator units, which include portable, inverter, and standby models. Some of the leading manufacturers and distributors for generators are featured here.

Caterpillar Introduces New Gas Generator Set

1. Caterpillar Energy Solution’s MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas generator set provides greater power with reduced oil consumption. Courtesy: Caterpillar Energy Solutions

Caterpillar Energy Solutions has launched its new MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas generator set (Figure 1). It is characterized by more power and reduced oil consumption. In addition, it has an electrical efficiency of up to 45%. The combination of very high efficiency, reliability, and performance makes the TCG 3020 V20 an all-round talent among gas engines. Though its dimensions are almost the same as those of its predecessor, the compact MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas engine boasts an output of 2,300 kWe, a performance increase of up to 15%. Apart from a greatly reduced oil consumption of merely 0.15 grams/kWh and high efficiency values, the new model offers lower maintenance and installation costs. The flexible TCG 3020 V20 is suitable for natural gas, biogas, landfill gas, and propane gas applications. The new MWM power genset enables an electrical efficiency of 45% for natural gas and 43.6% for biogas. The overall efficiency in natural gas operation is more than 87%. Owing to its high profitability and reliability, the MWM gas engine is ready for the challenges of Industry 4.0. The digital control system TPEM (Total Plant and Energy Management) consolidates all genset and plant control data in a single system. TPEM facilitates the control and monitoring, not only of the power genset, but also of the entire distributed energy generation plant. In most application scenarios, this eliminates the need for additional control systems. Thanks to the digitized power plant control, the TCG 3020 V20 yields high performance, maximum capacity, and optimum plant availability. Besides the reduced installation and operating costs as well as the secure, smart plant control, the TCG 3020 V20 features improved cost-efficiency. Provided high-quality gas is used, maintenance intervals of up to 80,000 operating hours are possible until the next general overhaul. Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH, Mannheim, Germany

New Life for Decommissioned Generators

2. Caterpillar’s C18 industrial power units, used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and shown here in an enclosure, are being repurposed by Depco Power Systems for use by heavy equipment operators and others. Courtesy: Caterpillar

Depco Power Systems has served as a global leader in buying and selling industrial power equipment for customers worldwide for more than 20 years. The company is bringing that experience to work for New Orleans as part of the dismantling project of the flood control systems that were put in place after Hurricane Katrina. In December 2018, work began on a $17 million project to remove the temporary pumps and floodgates constructed in 2006 to protect New Orleans against future storm surge after 80% of the city flooded in the aftermath of Katrina. The current decommissioning project concludes a decade’s worth of flood protection to the area after a new, permanent solution was completed in May 2018. Depco helped with the effort by purchasing 92 generators and engines from the project and is actively finding new uses for the equipment. Units are being repurposed, including C18 industrial power units (Figure 2), and 3412 power units, for use by heavy equipment dealers, and oil and gas companies, among others. “We are proud to help put back to work the equipment that has helped protect the City of New Orleans for the past 12 years,” said Dick Davis, president of Depco Power Systems. “After receiving any necessary servicing and testing from our high-quality team and facility, the units will now help power other pumps, oil rigs and other projects throughout the world.” Depco Power Systems, Houston, Texas