Tognum: energy solutions for every requirement from the single household to a small town
Posted on June 27, 2007
From 26. to 28. June 2007, the Tognum companies MTU Friedrichshafen, MDE Dezentrale Energiesysteme and CFC Solutions will be lining up together for the first time at Europe’s foremost energy exhibition “Power-Gen” in Madrid. The product range on show will include mtu diesel genset engines as well as cogeneration plants powered by MDE gas engines and by fuel cells from CFC Solutions.
mtu Engines: diesels for driving emergency, peak-demand and continuous power gensets
Fast-running diesel engines are the traditional core business of Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen, the central operation of the mtu Engines division. mtu supplies engines spanning an output range from 15 to 6,250 kilowatts for energy generation applications.
mtu has also been known for its custom system engineering skills for many years. They encompass all services from technical consultancy on choice of solution to expert assistance with the commissioning and hand-over of the installation. As a general contractor, mtu provides total project management and delivery of turnkey installations.
The vast majority of localized energy generation systems sold worldwide are diesel-driven. So-called decentralized power plants are in use all over the world but particularly in tough environmental conditions and frequently in remote locations. mtu diesel-driven power modules supply energy in the middle of the desert, far out at sea and high up in the mountains, providing for the needs of mining operations and oil rigs, covering the peak demand periods of industrial installations or providing emergency back-up when the mains supply fails. The requirements placed on the engines that drive the generators for those classic applications are extremely exacting - high specific power outputs combined with long service intervals, constant duty capabilities even under frequently changing loads and absolute starting reliability.
But dependability is not the only decisive factor when the engine is running 24 hours a day. Fuel consumption weighs heavily into the equation, especially for applications in remote areas where every liter of diesel has to be delivered by tanker truck. Under those conditions, genset fuel is one of the largest cost components and a low specific fuel consumption is a key criterion.
In places such as China, India, the Middle East or Australia, diesel engines can also exploit other advantages. Ensuring a reliable fuel supply is easier. A diesel power station can be up and running in less than a year - a decisive factor because often the time required to build the power plant is the key determinant of the project timetable. Low maintenance requirements represent another advantage that comes into its own in developing countries. Mechanics all over the world know their way around a diesel engine. And because diesel gensets are made in large numbers, they also offer clear cost benefits.
One of the specialized areas in this market is mobile gensets. Housed in containers, they are transported from one location to another to provide an immediate supply of electricity. In cities, diesel gensets typically operate as emergency back-up systems. When called upon they can be in action in a matter of seconds and take up the full generator load in no more than 15 seconds.
The VIRTUS range of gensets supplied by mtu Engines are complete power generation units driven by mtu Series 2000 or 4000 diesels and offering a range of electrical outputs from 630 to 2,200 kVA. The engines feature low noise and vibration characteristics, low fuel consumption and straightforward maintenance. VIRTUS gensets are also available as container versions for wide-ranging applications.
mtu Engines: gas turbines
The mtu Engines portfolio of localized energy generation systems also includes complete gas-turbine installations based on General Electric gas turbines derived from aircraft engines. Such installations can run on natural gas or diesel fuel. The services offered by mtu cover not only delivery and on-site assembly but also commissioning, extensive maintenance contracts and complete overhauls after 25,000 and 50,000 hours of operation.
A gas turbine plant has a number of benefits to offer - as part of a CHP plant, the fuel energy utilization can be as much as 88 percent with an electrical efficiency of around 40 percent. Added to that there are the ultra-low emissions - the NOx figure is a mere 50 mg/m³ and the CO emission level is just 100 mg/m³. Other highlights of these eco-friendly installations are their quick-starting capabilities (full power output in less than 10 minutes) and gas turbine availability figures of over 96 percent. The choice of outputs ranges from 20,000 to 45,000 kWel with thermal outputs from 28,000 to 60,000 kW. That is enough to supply roughly 30,000 households with electricity and 10,000 family homes with heat.
Typical uses are in combined heat and power plants. That includes district heating systems operated by municipal authorities, power plants that also generate steam to drive a steam turbine, and peak-load power stations. Gas turbine installations can also be used for industrial applications. The systems are monitored and controlled by highly advanced technology that enables remote supervision. Readings can be checked, important data stored and statistically analyzed.
Tognum Onsite Energy Systems: MDE gas-engine systems
Gas-engine energy plants such as those supplied by specialist Tognum Group company MDE offer an economical means of locally generating heat and electricity that delivers outstanding energy efficiency and low emissions into the bargain. They can run on a variety of clean-burning fuels that includes not only natural gas but also biogases such as sewage and landfill gas. As well as being independent of the mains power grid, combined heat and power plants that run on biogenic gases are CO2-neutral and use no fossil fuels. Heat and power cogeneration using gas engines saves primary energy resources and is thus an essential component of a sustainable energy mix.
Combined heat and power (CHP) plants generate electricity and heat simultaneously. CHP plants achieve much higher efficiency levels (up to 90 percent) due to their significantly greater utilization of the fuel energy. The heat can be used to heat buildings or industrial processes, while the electricity can be employed to supply local requirements or fed into the national power grid.
Gas-engine CHP plants are used in industrial and commercial applications, hotels, district heating systems, public baths and sewage plants. Biogas plants are specialized applications that operate as closed loop systems in which the heat generated is re-used in the biological fermentation process from which the biogas fuel is obtained. Outside of that closed loop, these plants provide heating for buildings and electricity for local consumption or supplying the mains power grid.
MDE is a leading supplier of gas engines and energy plants with electrical outputs ranging from 100 to 400 kW and offers complete energy systems from a single source in the rapidly expanding modular power plant market. That range is extended upwards to 2,000 kilowatts by systems based around mtu Series 4000 gas engines offering the very latest in engine technology.
Tognum Onsite Energy Systems: HotModule fuel cells from CFC Solutions
The HotModules produced by Tognum subsidiary CFC Solutions of Ottobrunn represent cutting-edge technology for combined (cooling) heat and power plants. These molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) essentially consist of a cylindrical steel container housing a horizontally arranged fuel cell stack, a starting system, the catalytic burner and the mixing chamber. The HotModule produces electricity by electrochemical means and as a by-product generates high-temperature heat at around 400 °C. Consequently, it is absolutely ideal for localized energy generation applications.
Among the outstanding features of these fuel cells is their flexibility in terms of choice of fuel. Of course, like all fuel cells, the HotModule uses hydrogen, but because of its integral reforming process, it is able to extract the hydrogen from a large number of gases that contain methane. As well as natural gas, the possible fuel sources include sewage gas, firedamp and biogas. This enables CO2-neutral energy production - environmentally and ozone-friendly energy conversion having been the declared aim of HotModule development from the outset. Now that the fuel cell stack has proved its efficiency and durability many times over using natural gas as fuel, the use of biogenic gases is being promoted.
The first plant running on sewage gas went into operation at Ahlen in Westphalia and similar installations are currently under construction in Stuttgart and Moosburg. CFC Solutions can also cite examples of biogas-fuelled facilities - a HotModule at Leonberg near Stuttgart has been generating heat and electricity for around a year using biogas produced by fermentation of organic waste collected by the local authority's recycling scheme, while another project in progress at a computer centre in Munich will use biomethane from energy crops. By using biogas, fossil fuels can be avoided and the HotModule produces only as much CO2 as the crops absorb while growing.
Tognum Onsite Energy Systems: Katolight diesel gensets for North America
The American company Katolight has been part of the Tognum Group since April 2007. Based in Mankato, Minnesota, Katolight produces diesel and gas-fuelled localized energy plants for industrial and agricultural applications and static emergency power generation with a range of outputs from 15 to 3,490 kilowatts. Katolight plays a central role in the Tognum Group in the area of standardized local energy plants in the North American market. "The acquisition of Katolight represents another milestone on the way to becoming a world leader in the supply of localized energy solutions," explains Volker Heuer, Tognum President and CEO.
Tognum and Katolight had previously enjoyed a successful business relationship for many years - diesel engines made by MTU Friedrichshafen being the basis of many of Katolight's products. Last year alone, mtu's subsidiary MTU Detroit Diesel Inc. (Detroit, Michigan/USA) supplied Katolight with more than 170 engines comprising Series 60, Series 2000 and Series 4000 models.