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Hybrid Technologies for On-site Power Generation. Texas AFRED R&D Conference Austin, TX September 12, 2007. Larry Osgood Consulting Solutions PERC Consultant & DG Program Manager. TX AFRED Hybrid Generating Systems Presentation Overview. Basis of work PERC R&D and DG programs

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hybrid technologies for on site power generation

Hybrid Technologies for On-site Power Generation

Texas AFRED R&D Conference

Austin, TX

September 12, 2007

Larry Osgood

Consulting Solutions

PERC Consultant &

DG Program Manager

tx afred hybrid generating systems presentation overview
TX AFRED Hybrid Generating Systems Presentation Overview
  • Basis of work PERC R&D and DG programs
  • Why Rural & Remote Power Generation is important
  • Hybrid system rationale
  • Market entry challenges and approach
  • Hybrid optimization
  • CHP power units
  • Plans to move forward
perc research development
PERC Research & Development
  • To invest in new technologies and to foster industry practices that will:
  • Bring innovative products and services to propane customers,
  • Improve the productivity and economic vitality of the propane industry, and
  • Provide greater value to propane consumers.
  • www.propanecouncil.org/rd
perc distributed generation program
PERC Distributed Generation Program
  • Fuel cells
  • Micro-turbines
  • Engine generator sets
    • Standard
    • Hybrid (solar, wind, . . .)
    • CHP
    • Micro-CHP
  • www.propanecouncil.org/rd/distr_power_gen.html

Propane 5 kW heavy-duty charging system

why rural remote power generation is important
Why Rural & Remote Power Generation is Important
  • Costs for electric lines average $55,000 per mile in US + power plants & transmission lines
  • Electric power is essential for communications, radar, security, education and more
  • Recent disasters proved value of DG andpropane fuel supplies
  • A propane genset can be effective for standby power anywhere in the world
  • But the key issue is, does propane make sense as an on-site power fuel
dg market challenges strategies
DG Market Challenges & Strategies
  • Direct power generation has high costs. If it was easy, it would already be done. Our strategies to succeed in DG markets:
    • Increase performance of engines, lower costs
    • Utilize CHP to recover heat and lower costs
    • Utilize on-grid systems where incentives available
    • Backup power w/ peak-shaving capability
    • Gas Heat Pump w/ backup power
    • Advanced propane gensets/CHP in solar/wind hybrid systems for affordable off-grid electricity
why use propane lpg for local heating cooking and dg fuel
Why Use Propane/LPG for Local Heating, Cooking and DG Fuel?
  • Easily transportable
  • High energy density, liquid form
  • Easily stored on site
  • Can be stored underground
  • Not a ground contaminant
  • Self pressurizing gas, no pumps
  • Clean burning
  • Efficient
  • Substantial supplies
  • Readily available
fuel generated power is expensive
Fuel-Generated Power is Expensive
  • Continuous fuel-generated power?
  • Fine for limited uses, such as an RV & back-up power
  • Not cost effective for most prime power
  • Operating costs are high
  • CHP & Hybrid systems lower capital and operating costs
hybrid renewable systems have significant advantages
Hybrid Renewable Systems Have Significant Advantages
  • Hybrid = distributed electrical generation combining 2 or more power sources
  • Produce electricity on site, where power lines are not available or practical
  • Provide power on-site in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner
  • Hybrid systems are optimal for rural, remote, and developing country applications
propane makes small renewable hybrid power systems perform
Propane Makes Small Renewable Hybrid Power Systems Perform
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels
  • Small wind turbines
  • Micro-hydro (water) turbines
  • All the above are “renewable” but are
  • not reliable due to intermittency
  • Propane gensets provide instant, reliable power
  • Propane provides renewables with solid on-site performance
large renewables have significant drawbacks for state rps programs
Large Renewables Have Significant Drawbacks for State RPS Programs
  • High initial costs
  • Reliability and site issues can be difficult
  • Require significant power transmission systems

Global GHG Emissions by Sector









Important to have higher efficiency and

lower CO2 power generating systems

summary of perc dg 2007 8 program objectives to move hybrids forward
Summary of PERC DG 2007-8 Program Objectives to Move Hybrids Forward
  • Focus: Bring Propane Hybrid Systems to Market
  • Work with engine and generator mfgs. to develop superior propane engines & gensets
  • Work with power-electronics suppliers to improve performance & system controllers
  • Build relationships w/ other stakeholders including system manufacturers, installers, renewable industry, users & ww agencies
  • Present PERC accomplishments and new systems in papers at DG conferences
fuel cells in dg hybrids no
Fuel Cells in DG / Hybrids ?? No.
  • Fuel Cell System Performance?
  • - Lower efficiency
  • - Higher cost
  • - Higher maintenance
  • - Shorter life
  • Biggest issue:
  • Can’t start
  • and stop
  • on demand
lombardini hd lpg engine
Lombardini HD LPG Engine

HD Diesel Based

2 cylinder

Factory LPG

Liquid Cooled

3 main bearings

Overhead Valves

Continuous duty

new xantrex hybrid system controller
New Xantrex Hybrid System Controller

Propane genset is in white box

Grey box is new Xantrexhybrid system

controller with inverters

new sma sunny island inverter
New SMA “Sunny Island” Inverter

High overload and

Surge capacity

Automatic generator


DC & AC coupling

built in

Output load shedding!

cost advantages w hybrid system
Cost Advantages w/ Hybrid System



  • Gensets have a lowinitial cost, buthigh O&M costs
  • Renewables have high initial costs with low O&M costs
  • The right combination of renewables and propane genset provides the lowest system cost, and highest reliability

Initial Cost


actual output from homer optimization model
Actual Output from HOMER Optimization Model

HOMER is a computer model that simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems for remote, stand-alone, and distributed generation (DG) applications. In 2001, identified hybrid systems optimal over solar only. Includes a web link to site specific solar data.


sample hybrid system costs
Propane genset only

Solar system only

Current hybrid

Higher cost genset, no optimization, subsidies, or cost savings for no pole & wire

Optimized hybrid site


$1.58 per kW

$ .95 per kW

$ .72 per kW

$ .20 - .40 per kW

Sample Hybrid System Costs
chp system advantages
CHP System Advantages
  • Regular gensets produce electricity – don’t utilize “waste-heat”
  • CHP systems start with advanced propane engines w/ 50% better efficiency
  • 2-3 units of heat energy for every unit of electrical energy produced
  • CHP systems typically twice as efficient as central electrical production
  • Lower energy cost and CO2 output
new honda 1 2 kw m chp system
New Honda 1.2 kW m-CHP System
  • UL listed propane system
  • PERC home demo in MA
  • Target home heating market
  • Provides heat and electricity
  • Can provide all home electricity needs
  • Replace conventional furnaces
  • Jointly developing off-grid& back-up system(adding storage)
marathon hd power generators in a hybrid residential system
Marathon HD Power Generators in a Hybrid Residential System
  • Minotaur 2.5 & 5 kW gensets available now
  • Full time, prime power, high efficiency systems
  • 5 kW ecopower CHP UL listed and available now
  • ecoisland developed, UL listing target is early 2008
  • Distribution network in development
testing for yanmar 5 kw chp system
Testing for Yanmar 5 kW CHP System
  • Testing at GTI is complete
  • Picture is 5 kW propane unit in test cell
  • Results excellent
  • Net output: 4.64 kW
  • Elec. Efficiency: 26.3% LHV, highest system efficiency tested to date
  • Noise extremely low: 51 dB
rationale for hybrid market opportunity
Rationale for Hybrid Market Opportunity
  • Electric power is increasingly needed to improve the quality of life around the world
  • Power needs at remote sites are increasing
  • Remote Power costs are extremely high
  • Renewable power emphasis is increasing
  • Emphasis on lowering CO2 emissions is “huge”
  • DG is a lead item in future market development potential and gallons
how do hybrid systems and propane support the on site power market
How Do Hybrid Systems and Propane Support the On-Site Power Market
  • Propane is a reliable & clean fuel for power generation
  • New propane small genset technology leapfrogs diesel as the premium fuel in efficiency, maintenance and longevity
  • Hybrid systems generate power more efficiently and for lower cost than other alternatives
  • Propane hybrids maximize the performance of renwables for sustainability into the future
for more information contact
For More Information Contact
  • Larry Osgood
  • Distributed Generation Program Manager
  • LDOGood1@aol.com
  • Greg Kerr
  • Director of Research and Developmentgreg.kerr@propanecouncil.org
  • Hybrid System Fact Sheet and more at:
  • www.propanecouncil.org/rd