Independent Power Producers

clean-energy-wind

U.S. Megawatts was formed to satisfy the strong and growing market demand in the USA by local Electric Utilities, Independent Power Producers (Non-Utility Generators) and cogeneration-type Qualifying Facilities (QFs) to transition their power generation from the old business model of high-cost, highly-regulated Centralized Coal and Nuclear fueled Power Plants (that deliver thousands of megawatts of electricity over hundreds of miles of expensive long-distance transmission lines) to the new Distributed Energy business model of installing smaller, 1-100-MW sized natural gas-fueled electric generators closer to end-users, at the local electric utility sub-station or neighborhood Distributed Energy Generator site (wherever there is a low-cost natural gas connection to fuel an electric generator).

U.S. Megawatts owns the exclusive North American License in the field of multi-megawatt power generation to build, own, operate, sell, rent and market a much-needed new kind of cleaner, Natural Gas-fueled prime-mover technology:  the Free-Piston Linear Engine (see video at: http://youtu.be/jG3IOGzjDNE ) that offers higher demonstrated energy conversion efficiency for multi-MW power generation than a reciprocating engine or gas turbine-powered electric generator.

Historically, the electric power generating industry used three kinds of of Prime Mover engine-technologies to turn and power their multi-MW electric generators: (1) Coal-fired or Nuclear-heated rotary-vane Steam Turbine Engines, (2) Diesel-fueled Reciprocating (12-16 cylinder Internal Combustion) Engines, and (3) Natural Gas-fueled rotary Gas Turbine Engines.

With the Fukushima Nuclear disaster in Japan and stricter new EPA regulations (“Utility MACT” and CSAPR “Cross State Air Pollution Rules”) requiring stringent pollution abatement upgrades, it has now become too costly, financially and politically, for Nuclear-powered Steam Turbines, Coal-fired Steam Turbines and some Diesel-fueled Recip Engine-powered generators to continue in operation in the USA (especially when compared to the financial and environmental benefits of switching to cleaner, lower cost Natural Gas as the fuel to replace vilified Coal and Diesel).

The thousands of MWs of Coal-fired electric power being de-commissioned around the USA over the next five years will have to be replaced with equally reliable power generators that can deliver enough hot Summer air conditioning power to meet local demand without brownouts.  Considering the high cost of Diesel fuel and Coal to generate a MW of power today,  it is becoming increasingly obvious to decision-makers in the electric power industry that Natural Gas should be America’s fuel of choice (generating electricity more cleanly, and even at a lower cost than, coal-fired electricity).

This transition to Natural Gas-fueled electric generation is confirmed by the growing backlog of orders for high-cost, long lead-time, multi-MW Gas Turbines – which are the only type of multi-MW natural gas-fueled generators currently known to the power industry.

However, Gas Turbine generators are not the best candidates for smaller, neighborhood-based Distributed Power generating facilities.  Besides being expensive to fabricate and install (costing more than $1-million per MW of output capacity due to the complexity of their  turbine-blades that are costly to manufacture and maintain), Gas Turbines are too loud to operate in many commercial zones – effectively confirming that Gas Turbine-powered Electric Generators are not going to meet the industry-need for smaller, quieter natural gas-fueled Distributed Power Generators needed by the industry.

U.S. Megawatts’ linear engine-powered generators will offer effective noise-suppression in a smaller, lower-cost package.  For comparison sake, the following chart details the size of different components of the Linear Engine Generator to generate a desired net power output (of 20-MW, 35-MW and 50-MW)  from a given air compressor input flow-rate (of 6,000,   10,000 and 15,000 cfm) with an input pressure of 1,500 psi (which is standard in the oil field).

While it is the cfm-flow-rate and psi-pressure that defines the available energy for the Linear Engine to extract, the diameter of the pistons and length of the cylinder strokes are defined by the need to keep the strokes-per-minute value under 600spm in consideration of the size and weight of the corresponding 16-22 inch diameter pistons and 7.2-9.5 foot long cylinder stroke lengths to generate 20-MW, 35-MW and 50-MW of net electrical power:

larry-shultz-graph

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