The MWM engines are highly efficient at converting gas into electrical power. Should there be a local use to recover the heat emitted from the engine, then combined heat and power (CHP) application presents a greater return on investment.
When connected to an alternator to produce electricity, the MWM engine is typically known as a generator, or a genset. The generator is then connected to a site’s electrical infrastructure, via an electrical circuit breaker, which is used to synchronise electrical supply and to operate in parallel to the electricity grid.
Electrical generation plants are mainly used for continuous base load generation, and peaking plants.
Base load generation
Where there is a stable source of fuel, such as natural gas, biogas, or coal gas to power the generators, base load power plants produce as much power as possible from the fuel available or the station capacity and export it to the electricity grid.
Alternatively, the electricity produced can be used in Island Mode operation, isolated from the electricity grid to power local infrastructure.
Peaking Plants, or peak and reserve power plants, are designed to supply power to the electricity grid at periods of very high demand and compensate the grid’s power level fluctuations created by renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar plants. Typically, peaking plants operate in standby mode when not in use and are called to operate by the electricity grid when there is a demand to supply electricity.
This demand variation and slowness to respond has led to increased grid stress and imbalance in supply and demand.
Gas powered peaking plants provide:
- Quick availability and operational readiness
- Greener environmental credentials
- Reduced operational costs
- Cleaner and cheaper fuel
In the UK, Edina has currently installed over 190MWe peaking power plants used for Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) application. As part of our capabilities, we provide the full EPC contract all from one point of contact to include:
- Liaison with external bodies
- Site ground works
- Foundation, design and construction
- Building design and construction
- Power and control cabling infrastructure
- Building services fit out (lighting, power, fire alarms, etc)
- Control panel and container manufacture
- Total project management
Demand-side generation and CHP
Demand-side generation is used when the site consumes a significant amount of power from the electricity grid.
The generation of power is used to offset the cost of importing power, but not export to the electricity grid. This is used when the price of imported power is very high due to the Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) and Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charges, typically between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays.
However, due to the increasing additional charges on importing electricity, the economics of demand side generation are such that significant hours of operation are feasible, even to continuous operation.
Furthermore, if heat is recovered from the generator, then this too offers a greater return on investment through the CHP process.