Gas-Fueled Technologies for Power Generation
Since the 1980s, natural gas — which consists mostly of methane — has become increasingly popular as a fuel for power generation. A combination of new technologies and regulatory changes has been responsible for this shift.
Natural gas has several advantages over some renewable energy technologies: the fuel source is continuously available, the up-front cost of generating equipment is typically lower, and the generators themselves are more compact than most renewable power systems.
While the primary fuel for gas-fueled distributed generation systems today is natural gas, biogas and hydrogen may play an important role in the future.
Pursue the following links to learn more about the leading gas-fueled technologies for distributed power generation (unless otherwise indicated, these are provided by DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office):
- Fuel Cells Basics and Fact Sheets - Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Program
- Gas-Fired Reciprocating Engines
- Industrial Turbines
Alternatively, you can get in-depth information on the full range of gas technologies in the following document, published by NREL in November 2003: Gas-Fired Distributed Energy Resource Technology Characterizations.
The following report, prepared for the DOE Office of Industrial Technologies by Arthur D. Little in January 2000, examines industrial opportunities for employing microturbines, reciprocating engines, fuel cells, and hybrid systems that combine fuel cells with industrial turbines: