Clean Cycle Generator to Use Recovered Heat from Diesel Engines to Boost Electricity Production in Alaskan City of Kotzebue
GE's Technology to Reduce Costs of Electricity and Heat Production, Saving an Estimated 177,000 Liters of Diesel Fuel Annually
GE Providing Design and Components, Local Companies to Handle Construction and Installation
VIENNA, AUSTRIA/KOTZEBUE, ALASKA — GE (NYSE: GE) and the Kotzebue Electric Association (KEA), an electric cooperative that focuses on supplying electricity to the remote city of Kotzebue and other rural areas of Alaska, have launched a joint project to increase the energy efficiency and extend the fuel supply of several diesel engines powering Kotzebue. For the initiative, GE will provide a Clean Cycle heat-to-power generator that will use the diesel engines' exhaust heat to produce electricity for the local grid.
This project showcases how communities and industries can achieve more efficient power production and greater fuel savings using heat-to-power technology.
Kotzebue's isolated location north of the Arctic Circle means that it faces high fuel costs and major logistical challenges associated with providing reliable electricity and heat. The city, which is home to an estimated 3,200 residents, is dependent upon a single, annual shipment of diesel fuel that occurs in the summer when the ocean is ice-free and vessels can navigate the available shipping lanes. Local officials have made it a top priority to extend the life of the diesel fuel supply and reduce the costs associated with operating a diesel–fueled generating system.
GE's innovative technology will enable Kotzebue to boost its fuel efficiency by utilizing a previously unused energy source—recovered exhaust heat from any one of the city's three diesel engines. In total, the project will result in a savings of more than 177,000 liters (46,000 gallons) of diesel fuel per year and reduce the city's energy costs. The new Clean Cycle unit is scheduled to begin operating in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"GE's Clean Cycle technology represents an effective answer for our specific need to reduce diesel consumption," said Brad Reeve, general manager/CEO for KEA. "The Clean Cycle generator creates an excellent way of utilizing every bit of energy from our engines, primarily our excess heat. As a result of the solution created jointly with GE, we expect to reduce costs and raise the efficiency of our diesel power plant."
Kotzebue also will benefit from the Clean Cycle installation as the surplus heat from the condenser will supplement an existing jacket water system to heat the city's potable water reserves that were previously heated by oil–fueled boilers. This reduction in heating costs is a significant economic value to the city.
The cooperation between GE and KEA received financial support from the state of Alaska “Renewable Energy Fund,” which promotes the use of Alaska’s natural energy resources in order to reduce the costs of electricity and heat generation.
"We have a great interest in bringing small-scale waste heat recovery to diesel utility applications around the world. Kotzebue highlights how the Clean Cycle technology can reduce cost and increase fuel efficiency by utilizing heat from diesel engines. This is a tangible value and an attractive power source for end customers," said Brad Garner, president—heat recovery solutions, GE Power Water.
GE’s Clean Cycle technology generates electricity from heat in a process called the Organic Rankine Cycle, producing no additional emissions. In the city of Kotzebue, the Clean Cycle heat-to-power generator will displace roughly 100 kilowatts of diesel generation. At the core of the Clean Cycle generator is the integrated power module, a revolutionary turbine generator that runs without any external seals, gearboxes, gearing oils or lubricants, which allows for minimal servicing.
GE's Clean Cycle technology captures heat from a variety of applications, including various engine types, biomass boilers and turbines. With more than 180,000 operational hours, in an application range up to 1 megawatt, GE's Clean Cycle heat-to-power generators are among the leading systems in the waste heat-to-power technology segment.
GE's portfolio of innovative distributed power solutions gives businesses and communities around the world the ability to generate reliable and efficient power using a variety of fuels anywhere, whether on or off the grid. GE's distributed power portfolio includes the company's aeroderivative gas turbines, Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines and Clean Cycle waste heat recovery solutions.
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About GE Power & Water
GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar, biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy, Thermal Products and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE's largest industrial business.
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