The 85,000 square foot corporate headquarters of a leading pharmaceutical company in San Francisco, CA will soon be powered by five 125kW InVerde e+ Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units from Tecogen Inc (TGEN – $3.33).
The 625 kilowatt cogeneration system will operate throughout the year, supplying the facility with electricity and thermal energy for space heating in the colder months and air-conditioning in the warmer periods. The five units will be installed in conjunction with absorption chillers that will provide air conditioning. This highly efficient natural gas powered system uses “free” waste heat energy in a process to generate chilled water supplementing the facility’s existing cooling system.
The five CHPs will be equipped with Tecogen’s unique and patented Ultera system, which reduces the emissions of pollutants contributing to smog (NOx, CO, and hydrocarbons) to near zero levels. In addition, a long term maintenance contract was included in the order. Although no details were provided, it is estimated that the order is worth around $2 million.
Next to the administrative offices, the facility will house a state-of-the-art research center and life sciences laboratories that all demand critical climate control and emergency standby power. The InVerde e+ is especially suited for these requirements thanks to its rapid blackstart emergency capability. The InVerde e+ CHP is compliant with the new strict 110 standard for emergency and standby power systems by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Importantly, if worse comes to worst, the facility will also be equipped with reserve propane tanks, which allow for fuel-switching in case of natural gas supply disruption.
Moreover, the InVerde e+ uses Tecogen’s exclusively licensed CERTS microgrid technology that enables the five units to seamlessly balance demand from the facility and rapidly respond to load changes and outages.
The Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS), was formed in 1999 to research, develop and commercialize new methods, tools and technologies to protect and enhance the reliability of the U.S. electric power system. The organization is a cooperation between universities, national labs, and the utility industry.
CERTS has been working with Tecogen since 2005 to modify the Company’s equipment to incorporate CERTS software that enables seamless transfer to and from the electric grid without elaborate controls and building upgrades. Thanks to the software, the Tecogen modules are able to operate as a conventional CHP application interconnected to the electric grid, but with the capacity to disconnect from the grid and continue operating as an “island” whenever a grid disruption occurs. This type of installation is also called a microgrid.
Microgrids can serve areas as small as a few houses, all the way up to large military installations. In addition, they can operate either independently or connected to a larger utility grid.
It’s important to note that a backup power system, such as a diesel generator, is not the same as a microgrid. Backup diesel generators supply power to local loads in the event of an outage, but there is usually a delay, or blip, before the backup kicks in when power is lost. In addition, a backup system is never meant to run continuously, nor to put power into the grid. However, the reverse is true with a microgrid, which can serve as a backup power supply.
A microgrid senses the “quality” of the power flowing through the grid. In the event of an outage, it can disconnect from the grid at a moment’s notice. It can also leverage solar, wind, or stored energy to supplement a dip in the current power supply. If things are running smoothly with the regional grid, a microgrid generating electricity from renewable sources can export that clean energy to the grid for everyone’s use.
This deal is definitely another notch on Tecogen’s belt. The pharmaceutical company would not have chosen Tecogen’s technology if there were even the slightest concern of reliability. The CHPs microgrid software will ensure that all units operate in tandem, seamlessly balancing and adjusting to the facility’s demand. Similarly, in case of blackout, the sophisticated cogeneration systems can disconnect from the grid completely and operate in island-mode.
Other determining factors were Tecogen’s local engineering and installation expertise, its long-term service presence in the Bay Area, and the familiarity with California permitting and emissions regulations.
Finally, the superior efficiency of Tecogen’s on-site equipment translates directly into predictable savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Ever more potential customers realize that CHP is the way to go and that Tecogen is on the forefront of that technology. Recommendation BUY.
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