Propane-Air Backup Fuel Mitigates Natural Gas Interruption, Curtailment
Natural gas has become an increasingly desirable source of energy due to its newly accessible abundant supplies, low cost, and clean-burning, environmentally friendly profile.
Indeed, the share of natural gas-fired power generation recently surpassed the share of coal-fired generation as a percentage of overall U.S. electricity generation, with natural gas contributing 35% and coal at 34.9% in July of this year, as recently reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Compared to the same time last year, natural gas-fired power generation rose in every region of the country, while coal generation fell in every region. Excluding demand met by generally renewable, distributed sources, total electricity demand rose from 384 billions kWh in July of last year to 398 kWh in the same month this year, according to EIA.
Coal-fired generation during this period dropped considerably from 150 billion kWh to 139 billion kWh, while natural gas-fired generation made an even more notable jump from 114 billion kWh to 140 billion kWh.
Said Brit Medley, President, TransTech Energy, “This data comes as no surprise. Demand for our related product areas has also spiked this year in response to large industrial users and utilities making the switch to low-cost natural gas.”
Making the Move to Natural Gas
Users seeking to cut costs and prepare for current as well as potential new, more stringent carbon emissions regulations are flocking to natural gas to fuel both new power generating capacity and as a replacement for capacity previously supported by other fuels.
Among those making the move to natural gas are large industrial users, municipalities and utilities – all entities with little to no tolerance for fuel interruption, a potential risk associated with natural gas fuel use due to curtailment, maintenance-related shutdown, or natural disaster.
For these users, a ‘standby’ fuel system that provides an alternative, backup source of energy is a must for ensuring uninterrupted operations regardless of potential natural gas supply disruptions.
Propane-Air (SNG) Standby Systems
Synthetic natural gas (SNG), also known as liquefied petroleum gas air (LPG-air) or simply propane-air, is an ideal complement to natural gas fuel and offers a seamless backup fuel solution.
SNG is readily produced by blending compressed air with vaporized propane gas (LPG). Unlike oil, which requires its own burners, piping and controls, SNG gas delivers virtually the same combustion characteristics as natural gas and in most instances can be burned in place of natural gas, with no change to existing equipment.
As such, SNG standby systems deliver a reliable, economically desirable and environmentally friendly energy source that can be readily tapped to replace or supplement natural gas as needed.
'Interruptible Service' Cost Savings
SNG standby systems also open the door for large gas users to potentially reduce their natural gas costs as much as 35% or more, by utilizing 'interruptible service' savings rates.
Those that opt for ‘interruptible rate’ contracts deliberately agree to allow their supply to be ‘curtailed’ by their utility during times of low supply or high demand. When notified of curtailment, these customers fuel their operations with propane-air produced by their standby system, in place of natural gas.
Discounted rates are typically offered as an incentive for interruptible customers to install a standby system and savings tend to be offered year-round whether or not service is ever interrupted so investing in a standby system can continue to offer pay-back, regardless of how often it is actually used.
Turnkey & Custom Engineered Standby Systems
Propane-air standby fuel systems consist of a vaporizer to convert liquid propane to gas; an air compressor to feed air into the system; and a propane air mixer to blend the vaporized propane with the compressed air. Propane/LPG truck unloading equipment as well as storage tanks for on-site LPG storage are also required for receiving propane deliveries, in addition to a pump for moving LPG from storage to vaporizer.
TransTech Energy designs propane air stand-by systems for government, utility, municipal, manufacturing and industrial applications. We offer custom engineered and turnkey solutions for our clients who have the need to instantaneously and temporarily replace or limit their primary natural gas supply consumption. All systems are delivered fully tested and functional with all required piping, wiring and controls.
Our synthetic natural gas stand-by systems provide a continuous fuel supply, allowing our customers to maintain fully functional operations while delivering flexibility, cost savings—and peace of mind, by reducing the risk of potentially catastrophic business consequences of fuel supply interruption.
Contact us to speak with one of our standby fuel system experts: 888-206-4563