Generators for Education

Education: Schools, Universities, Colleges, and Campuses

Power for learning.

You’re trusted to power the places people study and to do it cost-effectively. Select a distributed generation system to provide power to a school, college or university on a permanent or temporary basis or design a standby power plant. We even offer exhaust emissions for highly regulated emission environments, and utility grade Cat® paralleling switchgear so you can sell excess electricity to your local grid. Run uninterrupted power and reduce operating expenses with a Cat combined heat and power (CHP) system to simultaneously provide electricity for electrical loads and recover heat to warm facilities.

Our generators offer world-class fuel efficiency and low life-cycle costs. Caterpillar is providing power to meet your demands and to help you cut costs with cogeneration technology. We’re here to keep power production efficient so you can focus on your institution.

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Brock University Brock University


Cat generator sets provide backup power for Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Virginia Tech. Continuous, uninterrupted power is a critical element that supports virtually everything that takes place on campus.

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Any size or shape. In any regulatory environment. When you need power, Caterpillar is equal to the challenge. Our generators are used in a variety of applications.

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Diesel Generator Sets Power Savings and Sustainability

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Cat® generator sets run a cogeneration plant powering a large research university and providing self-sufficiency with backup power.

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Caterpillar offers standard and customized power solutions for all your applications, where you need it, whenever you need it.

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Caterpillar is pleased to provide information on new technologies as well as innovative solutions to power your business.

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Reduced Operating Costs via CHP, Distributed Generation, and Standby Power

Many schools, colleges, and universities can reduce operating costs by implementing a Cat® combined heat and power (CHP) system (also known as cogeneration) using clean pipeline natural gas as a fuel source. Cat gas generator sets can simultaneously provide power for electrical loads and heat energy for a facility's thermal requirements. Benefits from CHP projects include:

  • Energy efficiency up to 90 percent
  • Reduced energy costs versus separate heat and electrical generation systems
  • Reduced emissions 
  • Leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) certification via energy efficiency credits
  • Where the capture and use of waste heat is not viable, your facility may still benefit financially via distributed generation (DG), where electricity is simply produced locally or via a natural gas fueled emergency standby power plant.

This is especially true when any of the following apply:

  • The local electric grid is unreliable
  • Natural gas is an inexpensive alternative to grid electricity
  • Reduced emissions versus separate heat and electrical generation systems
  • Generators can be applied during peak times of day to avoid high electrical utility demand charges (also known as peak shaving)

Upper Chesapeake Medical Center Upper Chesapeake Medical Center

How CHP Works

Any Cat natural gas fueled engine can be configured for applications involving heat recovery. The engine drives a Cat generator to produce electricity, while jacket water and/or exhaust cooling circuits are fed through heat exchangers to transfer the waste heat from the engine to a hot water or steam circuit. That hot water or steam can then be effectively used for the facility's process or HVAC requirements, including facility cooling when implementing an absorption or adsorption chiller (known also as trigeneration).

Caterpillar provides customized CHP packages, including the required mechanical equipment and controls to capture and transfer the engine thermal energy to your facility. Caterpillar also offers:

  • Natural gas fuel pressure regulation and safeties
  • Exhaust emissions aftertreatment for highly regulated emission environments
  • Utility grade paralleling switchgear to run multiple generators together or to export energy to the local electric grid
  • The total energy cost savings of such systems can more than offset the total owning and operating costs, delivering a payback in as little as two to three years, depending on local energy pricing and policies.

classroom classroom

How Distributed Generation and Standby Power Work

When power is produced locally without heat recovery from the engine, Caterpillar provides radiators to provide proper cooling to the engine jacket water, engine oil, and aftercooler water circuits. Cat paralleling switchgear allows generators to operate with one another or in conjunction with a local utility power source.

Although 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. Typically installed with an automatic transfer switch (ATS) or paralleling switchgear control for multiple generators, 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.

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