The North American engineering and applications magazine 'Power Engineering' has recognized an MTU Onsite Energy cogeneration system as the “Best CHP Project” in the USA. Delivering an electrical output of some 248 kW, the CHP forms an integral part of the so-called microgrid supplying the headquarters of power company NRG Energy in Princeton, New Jersey. The CHP is coupled with a number of other renewable power generation technologies, including solar fields in the compound, to create a microgrid which makes the facility practically independent of the national grid.
“We’re pleased our system was recognized for its role in sustainability and reliability at the NRG Energy headquarters,” said Christian Mueller, senior sales engineer at MTU Onsite Energy. “This project is our first time working in unification with a microgrid. Its success is a strong testament to our ability to support similar multi-faceted projects.” MTU Onsite Energy’s Series 400 CHP achieves just over 90 percent efficiency and has a thermal energy output of 245 kilowatts that is used to heat and cool the facility. The trade floor and data center are cooled with residual heat from the system that is converted for cooling through an absorption chiller.
The project also features one 900 KW MTU Onsite Energy diesel backup generator, a 430-kW natural gas generator set and a 500-kW battery storage system as an additional power source in case of an outage or to cover shortfalls in solar output.
MTU customized the CHP system with a three-way catalyst to meet the state’s emissions requirement. The unit is protected by a custom built enclosure that was painted and installed to NRG’s aesthetic and sound specifications. Once delivered, the system underwent a field inspection by Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., an independent safety science company, to review for electrical and safety clearances certification. “Our team is extremely satisfied with the MTU Onsite Energy power plant and the support it has provided since being installed,” said James O’Donnell, director of engineering at NRG Energy. “Anytime we’ve dispatched the unit it has performed efficiently as expected and as promised.”
Today, the system is maintained and serviced by Stewart & Stevenson – Atlantic Division, an authorized MTU Onsite Energy distributor. As a demonstration of MTU’s commitment to ongoing support, NRG Energy was provided a custom warranty that ensures certain performance criteria is always met. “We’ve been successful meeting NRG’s performance criteria throughout this partnership,” said Mueller. “We’re confident the system will continue to be a silent but powerful solution for the facility.”