Energas Technologies has entered into a distribution agreement with R Schmitt Enertec, a German manufacturer of gas engines, generator sets and cogeneration sets, to offer highly efficient power generators to the local market. R Schmitt Enertec’s range of highly efficient and innovative power generators is now available in South Africa and neighbouring countries. Depending on customer requirements, Energas will offer Enertec’s wide range of generator sets with or without heat recovery and co-generation: the Energin, Energin Gen+ and Energin CHP units, ranging from 115 to 500 kW.
Energin generator sets are designed for power production in island or parallel mode with other generators and/or the utility. Based on the R Schmitt Enertec M Series gas engines, fuel options include natural gas, biogas, wood gas and LPG.
Energin Gen+ are gensets with heat recovery from engine jacket water, lube oil and first stage mixture cooling. Heat recovery in the Gen+ units increases the overall engine efficiency by 28% by utilising the thermal energy.
More than double the energy used to generate electricity is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere. Energin CHP units enable onsite electricity generation that captures heat that would otherwise be wasted, to provide useful thermal energy such as steam or hot water. Steam and hot water can be used for several processes such as space heating, cooling, domestic hot water and industrial processes. Through Energin CHP waste heat recovery, the total energy efficiency is increased above 90% compared to 42% in conventional technologies where only electric power is generated.
According to Laetitia Botha, Energas Technologies product engineer, Enertec’s range of gensets complements Energas Technologies’ existing product offering. “Energas specialises in the supply of specialised equipment to the natural gas industry in South Africa and neighbouring countries. Generation of power by making use of natural gas, biogas or waste gas, complements the existing product range in our stable,” she explains.
Enertec’s generator sets can be used for pure electric power generation or a combination of electricity and thermal energy generation when waste heat recovery is included. Typical applications are diverse and include chemical, refining, pulp and paper, biogas, printing, food processing, glass manufacturing, drying plants and RDF gas in the industrial industry; hotels, health clubs, nursing homes and office buildings in the commercial building sector; apartments, planned communities and housing developments in the residential area; hospitals, prisons, colleges and schools and other institutions; and municipal applications such as district energy systems and wastewater treatment facilities.
Botha explains that a unique capability of Enertec generators is that they can also generate power from weak gas supplies. Most engines can only work with gas supplies of very good quality, but the Energin engines can adapt. Dependent on the gas analysis, Enertec can make the necessary adjustments as the manufacturer of the gas engines, the CHP unit, the control unit and the gas cleaning and drying skid. In comparison to other suppliers, the engines are not controlled to lambda 1 (ration of the actual air/fuel ratio to stoichiometric) – because of a weak gas the lambda measurement is not exact enough. Instead, each cylinder in the engine has a thermocouple that measures the temperature inside (direct into the burning chamber).
Meanwhile, if the gas is weak, the temperature will decrease, and if the quality gets better the temperature also rises. With low temperature, the ratio of the gas/air mixture will be adjusted to get the same performance and a stable power output in the engine. The same principle is applied when a high temperature is measured. The temperature measurements and controlling of the gas/air ratio is very accurate and adjustments are made rapidly, which makes it very suitable for fluctuating gas qualities. “This technology gives Enertec’s engines a big advantage over other competitors,” adds Botha. “The arrival of these generators in the local market offers local customers new possibilities. Electricity in South Africa is no longer as cheap and reliable as it used to be. Industry needs to become more energy-efficient and independent with its energy usage,” she concludes.
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