Large LPG Gas Engines
A number of LPG power plants in operation are using large LPG gas engine technology. Large engines are chosen for their superior efficiency, excellent high ambient temperature performance, operational flexibility and fuel flexibility. Dual- and multi-fuel technologies allow also operation on diesel, natural gas and ethane in addition to LPG.
Engines have the highest single cycle electrical efficiency of all thermal power generation technologies. Furthermore, high ambient temperatures and high altitudes have a marginal impact on the capacity and efficiency of engines. Other technologies may loose upto 30% of their capacity and suffer from high heat rates due to the combination of high ambient temperatures and high altitudes.
The operational flexibility of gas engine power plants is unsurpassed. Gas engines start and ramp-up to full load in 5 minutes. The multi-unit plant configuration allows maintenance on the units one at a time guaranteeing an extraordinary plant level availability which can not be matched by single or dual-unit plant configurations. Furthermore the number of starts and stops have no negative impact on maintenance intervals. Engines are therefore often the first choice for thermal back-up capacity for the integration of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind power. These plants are often started and stopped many times a day, depending on the solar and wind power generation.
Large gas engine plants are popular for flexible baseload generation in both large and small power systems. Thanks to the operational flexibility and multi-unit plant configuration they are very well suited also for smaller power systems on e.g. islands and isolated, remote grids. Industrial self-generation is also a common application for engines and these plants often make use of cogeneration or trigeneration technologies to further improve the overall efficiency.
Modern large engine power plants are modularized which significantly reduces the construction period at site. The modularisation also eliminates technical and construction risk to a large extent.
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