Emergency Standby Systems using Natural GasAlthough diesel fueled emergency power systems will always be the solution of choice for life safety emergency standby systems, there has been an increasing move toward natural gas fueled standby power systems in recent years.
Benefits of using a natural gas emergency generator system include:
- Low Fuel maintenance: Diesel fuel that is left un-maintained and in storage tanks for extended periods can foster bacterial and microorganism growth that will plug filters and cause fuel system failure. This necessitates installation of fuel polishing equipment or is resolved by using pipeline gaseous fuel.
- Run time in a natural disaster: During a hurricane, natural gas continues to flow whereas diesel fuel transportation trucks can not always reach hospitals, pumping stations, and hotels. Major storm events are much less of a threat to a natural gas pipeline than they are to road transit.
- Environmental benefits: Lean burn gas gensets generally emit 90% less nitrous oxides than diesel as well as 60% less carbon monoxide (with oxidation catalyst). Visible soot emissions are nearly eliminated.
- Non-emergency flexibility: Operating a genset during peak electrical demand in parallel with or isolated from a local electric utility is one way that genset owners can turn an emergency use asset into one that creates economic benefits. Given the strict use limitations related to diesel emission regulations today, gas gensets offer a good alternative. Further, as natural gas prices have declined dramatically in the US in recent years, gas gensets are more economical to own and operate at 500+ hours per year.
How It Works
An emergency standby generator is installed for any facilitity that requires a backup source of electricity in the event of a grid power outage. Typically installed with an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) or paralleling switchgear control for multiple gensets, These systems sense when a utility outage occurs and automatically start the backup power system and transfer power to the emergency source. When normal grid power returns, the control system automatically switches back and shuts down the emergency generator.