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CEGEN: Converting Compression Station Exhaust to Power

pipeline approvalsDouglas Berkley
Noise Solutions, Technical Sales & Solutions

A company called Clean Energy Generation (CEGEN) has come up with a design to allow exhaust from natural gas compression stations to be converted to power.

Sometimes an idea come along and makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?” So simple in its workings that you are sure it’s been done before, but turns out it hasn’t. I’m lucky enough to be working with a group of people that have one of these ideas now being pilot tested, proven and for market in the very near future, and it is exciting to say the least!

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People these days think that renewable, green energy and fossil fuels are and always will be at odds with each other. In reality, they have been working together for years, and those lines are starting to blur. What if we could combine natural gas development with electric power production and reduce or eliminate, further consumption of fossil fuels? CEGEN (Clean Energy Generation) is that step forward in bringing these forms of energy together to deliver clean and affordable power to communities and industry alike.

CEGEN has patented a design to capture and use the wasted, constant airflows of large cooling fans on compression station sites. This design can and will be applied to all sorts of industry, starting in the natural gas, oil and power generation industries, then mining and eventually fans of all sizes and applications.

Natural Gas compression stations made sense as the place to start…there was estimated to be approximately 31,000 natural gas transmission compressors in service in the United States alone as of 2011. And with the rise of hydraulic fracturing and the addition of new field like the Marcellus and Utica, these station numbers are only rising.

By placing single or multiple CEGEN units on the cooling fan structures, companies will be able to replace the need to run expensive power transmission lines to remote locations, supplement the power needs of their facilities without burning the facility’s own product or add to their carbon footprint as well.

For large facilities with multiple coolers, enough power can be produced to supply back to the grid or even create an isolated grid that supplies to surrounding smaller facilities they may own. Carbon tax credits are even possible.

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The CEGEN unit is a 7’ x 7’ x 8’ box that simply bolts on to the exhaust portion of the cooling fan unit. We’ve used our experience in the noise mitigation world to be sure backpressures and performances of the fans will not be adversely affected. The box contains a turbine that will spin via the constant exhaust airflow and that will produce the power for use on site. It’s as simple as that in the end.

No additional foundations are needed, no real additional space is used and so on. And, the units are designed to produce a minimum of 15,000 kW/hrs per annum, which is enough to power a single Caterpillar 3516 compressor engine. Multiple units can be installed at a single compression facility, and the use of the generated power is endless. Power site equipment, lower or do away with electrical bills, the uses are limitless.

I’ve had the opportunity to be on many early appointments with key industry players, and the interest is high. Our energy industry is always in need of a good story to share it seems. What if we were able to share a green energy story like this? How valuable would that be? Early adopters/testers we have been working with think that story will be a great one to tell. And undoubtedly, at some point in the meeting, someone will ask the question “why didn’t I think of that?”

CEGEN is here and testing, you don’t have to think of it anymore. My employer, Noise Solutions, just finalized a manufacturing and distribution agreement with CEGEN. The time to move is now…pilot test with us. First in line at start get preference in delivery of units! For more information, visit www.cegengreen.com.

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3 thoughts on “CEGEN: Converting Compression Station Exhaust to Power

  1. There are similar advances in the Natural Gas industry that are indeed very positive for the environment. Hydrogenics in Canada has some great pilot projects using the temperature differences from Steel Pipelines to civil plastic distribution systems. The decompression is allowing Hydrogenics to produce hydrogen to power 1500 homes Emissions free in Toronto Ontario. Power from Windfarms transported by Steel pipelines is another technology Hydrogenics is rolling out. To me, the Frackivists are blind to what is really the way forward if you indeed subscribe to Global Warming or Climate Change. Natural Gas and getting it via Fracking Shale is the best bet out there.

    • Really – that’s your solution. Remember if Trump repeals/replaces Obama’s Clean Energy Plan with it’s mandates to replace coal with natural gas, I’m sure that coal companies will try to retain/regain markets and power plants that would have been required to convert to gas. Renewables could not have ever met the demand in 20 years and we would have had a secure market and a cleaner environment. Which analogy fits better, sawing off the branch your sitting on or snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

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