DOE EERE Research Reports

Distributed Energy Resources and Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power

CHP Integration

Environmental Aspects of Operation of a Gas-Fired Microturbine-Based CHP System
Andrei Petrov
Abdolreza Zaltash
D. Tom Rizy
Solomon Labinov
Cooling, Heating, and Power Group
Engineering Science and Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Abstract: The number of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as gas microturbines, as well as combined Cooling, Heating and Power (CHP) systems which combine power generation with thermal heat recovery have increased markedly over the last several years. Environmental issues are among one of the most important aspects of operating these systems. This paper presents results of an emissions study of a microturbine-based CHP Integration Test System that is located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

For the DER emissions tests, a CHP system consisting of a 30-kW natural gas-fired microturbine located outside the test building and an air-to-water heat recovery unit for capturing the exhaust heat located inside were used. Three basic emissions components carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) were given particular attention. The steady-state tests with the microturbine output maintained at a near steady power output measured emissions at different power output levels (1030 kW with 1 kW increment) and different air inlet (ambient) temperatures (-217°C or 2863°F) although we did not have direct control of the inlet temperature. The transient tests measured the emission levels as the microturbine power output varied during startup and shutdown and as the power output was increased or decreased from one output level to another for power dispatching. Results show that operation of the microturbine at full power (~28 kW) produces the lowest emissions of air pollutants. The CO and NOx levels were found to be within limits specified by the microturbine manufacturer while the maximum SO2 concentrations will not cause dewpoint corrosion of the CHP equipment. Operation of the microturbine at reduced power output increases the cumulative emission levels of the flue gas. The microturbine air inlet temperature increase (our unit was located outside) tends to reduce the CO levels in the flue gas.

Keywords: microturbine, distributed generation, DG, emissions, air pollution, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, CO, NOx, sulfur dioxide, SO2

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