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Natural Gas engines: invention, development and application.  

It is generally accepted to not count, the inventor of internal combustion engine as the outstanding Dutch mathematician, mechanical engineer, physicist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens (1629-95) who in 1678 designed an internal combustion engine that would use gunpowder as fuel. However Huygens’ gunpowder fueled engine was never built. 

In 1860 Belgian engineer Etienne Lenoir (1822-1900) built the first industrial internal combustion engine burning coal gas. In 1866 the German engineers Eugen Langen (1833-1895) and Nikolaus Otto (1832-1891) created a more effective gas engine burning gas four times less than Lenoir engine. It was the first effective four-stroke internal-combustion engine (ICE)

Otto cycle is the most widespread engine now. Various gases were used in Otto engines: coal, generating, digester, natural, landfill, and petrol. High-speed engine, built by German engineer Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) in 1885, patented in 1887 revolutionized world automobile industry. It is accepted to consider Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz (1844-1929) as inventors of the carburetor which has allowed the adoption of the original gas-powered Otto cycle engines to burn liquid fuel. The outstanding German engineer Rudolph Diesel(1858-1913) constructed compression-ignition engine in 1891.

The century of ICE development in together with the achievement of last decades in the field of new materials, electronics and computer facilities has allowed creating highly effective Otto cycle gas engines. Technology of application of gas engines rebirths in Russia Now. It is connected to their application in systems of local power generation.

Russia possesses enormous reserves of natural gas, and also has the need to supple electric power to remote areas. Russia thus has a perfect opportunity to solve the electric power supply problem with the reciprocating natural gas generator sets.

Why reciprocating gensets? The reciprocating machines have great advantages and benefits.

Natural gas generator sets power stations have the long service life and low cost of operating expenses.

The advantages of power stations with reciprocating gas engines are:

  1. Low purchase cost: $ 250-500 for 1 kW (for comparison: average cost of 1 kW of the established capacity in Russia for 1990-1997 cost more than $ 1600);
  2. Low cost price of the electric power: 10-12 kopecks per kW-hour (the price of the electric power in the wholesale markets is twice as much);
  3. Safety: low temperatures, pressure;
  4. Long service life: 200,000+ hours;
  5. Ecologically friendly;
  6. Mobility;
  7. Wide range of working modes - from 15-20 of % up to 110 % of rated power with proportional fuel consumption.
The disadvantage of reciprocating engines is the only limited capacity up to 5 MW for one engine. The average industrial consumer in Russia has the established capacity not more than 1-2 MW. Some synchronously working units can be established if necessary. There are examples of installation up to 40 units in one site. To produce electric energy using local power plants becomes rather profitable business in Russia. At the average existing tariff of 45-50 kopecks for 1 kWh of the electric energy in Russia the cost of the electric power received from local power plant does not exceed 10 kopecks. At the retail tariff for gas of 30 kopecks for 1 cubic meter, that is on 50 % cheaper than cost of the electric energy on the wholesale market FOREM. At cost of 1 kW of the established capacity in 6-7 thousand rubles 100 % return on investment is about 2 years. Natural gas power units represent the force that "will extend" the economy of Russia from the present situation.

The advantages of the local power generation systems become obvious especially in comparison of the projects of electric power supply for remote and new installations using the central vs. local electric power supply. Local power generation removes the necessity of transmission lines, power transformers and an extended cable network. Local power generation systems have also important scientific and technological significance. The scientists around the world are unanimous in the opinion that the future of the power generation is hydrogen-nuclear technologies. A step to these technologies is the application of the liquefied natural gas (LNG). The local power generation systems create an infrastructure of consumption of liquid hydrogen, including cryogenic systems of a storage and transportation. Many modern gas engines can use hydrogen as fuel.

The power generation systems in Russia are generally "small" in quantitative aspect, so the average capacity of the Russian power station is about 340 kW. The total capacity of small power stations reaches 17 billion kW or 8 % of common electrical capacity of the Russian power stations. In USA the capacity of annually switched on small stations reaches 30 % of the common new capacity.

Our company offers 200kW natural gas gensets with Russian engine 1D12VG-300. This engine allows to make a great money savings in elecricity expenditures for our domestic and foreign customers .
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