Generators are essential for commercial use as backup and standby power sources in case of electrical power failure and to provide energy in remote and off-grid locations. For many years, propane has been used as a clean-burning, non-toxic, and easily portable and storable fuel source for generators. Propane-fueled generators have proven to be quiet, safe, and dependable, providing quick resumption of power in the event of primary power failure.
Today, advancements in technology have resulted in the expansion of the use of propane into off-grid cogeneration systems and distributed generation applications.
Cogeneration systems, or combined heat and power (CHP) systems, recover waste heat from internal combustion engines and use more than 90% of fuel energy to produce both heat and power. CHP systems are now available with propane-fueled engines that offer long life, low maintenance, high efficiency, and low emissions.
Distributed generation (DG) is a highly efficient way of providing power for off-grid applications or to locations where the cost of electricity is high. However, it has been associated with high operating and maintenance costs. To lower these costs, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, have been used, but these are associated with significant upfront costs and do not provide consistent energy. To lower capital costs and generate sustainable power, hybrid systems that employ the use of renewable energy sources along with generators or CHP systems have been developed. Propane is an excellent fuel source for this application because it is clean burning, supporting the environmental benefits of using renewable energy, and is easy to transport and store for use in remote or off-grid locations.
The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) is offering incentives to construction professionals, homeowners, and businesses who purchase and use new propane-fueled products for residential and commercial purposes and share their experiences. Sources:http://buildwithpropane.com/?page=temporaryheathttp://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/FS_15487_DGMarket_WEB.pdfhttp://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/FS_Propane%20Makes%20Renewable%20DG%20Reliable%283%29.pdfhttp://www.propanecouncil.org/propane-exceptional-product/http://www.buildwithpropane.com/html/propaneguide/pdf/BWPGuide.pdf