Generators for Commercial Greenhouses




Cat® Generator Sets: How Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Works in Greenhouses

Combined heat and power systems provide a profitable and sustainable solution for greenhouses. By generating thermal energy and electrical energy simultaneously, a CHP system can yield a fuel efficiency rate over 90% versus the typical boiler efficiency of 40-50%. Typical payback on these systems is less than 3-4 years.

Install generators that grow your business.

Greenhouses require energy to thrive — they require time and resources. We’re helping make your business better with power built to cut costs and boost plant health. Cat® CHP systems are engineered to produce electricity for your operation while heating your facility. Fueled by natural gas, our CHP generators for commercial greenhouses run at an efficiency of more than 90 percent. A Cat aftertreament system filters exhaust gas, rich in carbon dioxide, to be used as plant root fertilizer.

Even sell excess energy to your local grid with our utility grade paralleling switchgear and controls.

Whether it’s an estimate, installation, or on-site service, we’re committed to ensuring you get quality from your commercial greenhouse generator and expert support from our Cat team.

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Van Diemen Greenhouse

High-Efficiency Power Systems

Greenhouse facilities reduce operating costs by implementing a Cat CHP system using clean pipeline natural gas as a fuel source. Cat gas generators for commercial greenhouses can provide electricity for electrical loads, heat energy for warming of the greenhouse, and recycled carbon dioxide from the engine exhaust as an organic fertilizer.

Benefits from greenhouse CHP projects include:
- Energy efficiency over 90 percent
- Reduced energy costs and emissions versus
  separate heat and electrical generation systems
- Increased revenue opportunities through the
  export of electricity
- Carbon dioxide crop fertilization

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How It Works

Any Cat natural gas-fueled engine can be configured specifically for applications involving heat recovery. The engine drives a Cat commercial greenhouses 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 holding tank. That hot water is stored and used to keep the greenhouse warm. Oxidation catalysts can be used to remove carbon monoxide, and a urea-based SCR system is employed to reduce NOx to just a few parts per million. The result is an exhaust gas so clean it is piped to the greenhouse plants' roots as a fertilizer, boosting farmers' yields.

Since sizing based on heat load is the key driver, the electricity produced at a greenhouse often exceeds the local demand. Many countries throughout Europe incentivize high-efficiency electric power generation via production credits and most electricity produced is exported to the local grid. In other parts of the world, grid unreliability and pure economics are driving greenhouse agriculture toward similar solutions.

Caterpillar provides customized CHP package proposals, including the required mechanical equipment and controls to capture and transfer the engine thermal energy to a greenhouse facility. In addition, Caterpillar offers the required exhaust emissions aftertreatment, utility grade paralleling switchgear, and controls to sell excess electricity generated 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.



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