Factories the world over depend on compressed air to operate industrial processes as well as a wide variety of pneumatic tools, including drills, wrenches, grinders and sand blasters. As a power source, compressed air is relatively safe, energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Compressors, often driven by engines or turbines such as those manufactured by GE, compress the air that powers these processes and tools.
How It Works
The engine or turbine-driven compressor pulls air in, compresses it, and pushes it into a storage tank to a maximum allowable level. When a tool is switched on, air in the tank is released to power it.
The compressor must continually replenish the air in the tank without overfilling it—which requires the compressor and engine to adjust their operating levels continually.
With variable speed capability and a “wide turndown” range, a gas engine can operate more efficiently at reduced load levels than an electric motor which lacks such flexibility.
Engine-driven air compressors operate reliably where the electrical supply is non-existent or unreliable.
GE’s portfolio of Waukesha gas engines and aeroderivative gas turbines for mechanical drive applications offers multiple options to address individual operational needs and widely varying local emissions requirements.
Blowers are used in a wide range of processes that are integral to mining, the manufacturing, petrochemical and food processing industries and utility operation. These processes, which require large flows of air or gases, include ventilation, dust collection, drying, heat treatment and testing processes. Waukesha gas engines or aeroderivative gas turbines, such as those manufactured by GE, are often used to power blowers used in waste treatment plant operations.
How It Works
A blower is typically a centrifugal fan that moves air or other gases. It uses the centrifugal power generated by the rotation of the impellers to increase the pressure of the gases and force them through the blower.
In waste treatment plant applications, blowers driven by engines like those manufactured by Waukesha gas engines may be used in various stages of the treatment process.
In waste treatment plants equipped with digesters, gas engines that drive blowers have the added benefit of being able to operate on renewable gases produced by the digester. In addition, heat from the engine may be captured and used at various points in the treatment process.
Chillers are the heart of the systems that supply air conditioning for buildings and refrigeration needs for industrial and commercial applications. Chillers driven by engines or turbines such as GE’s Waukesha gas engines or aeroderivative gas turbines can be used in almost any application requiring chilled water. They are well suited to larger-tonnage cooling loads in areas with medium-to-high electric rates and have the potential to capture waste heat from the engine or turbine for other process needs.
How It Works
In a vapor compression chiller, the compressor pumps the refrigerant gas through the system. When engine or turbine driven compressors are used, the system has the added benefit of a heat recovery option which can be used in a variety of other processes that reduce energy costs.
Operating engine or turbine-driven chillers during peak demand times can help reduce overall energy costs by reducing electricity use when costs are highest.
Because gas engines have a wider “turndown” range, they can operate chillers efficiently at partial load during low-demand times.
Chillers driven by GE’s Waukesha gas engines or aeroderivative gas turbines operate reliably where the electrical supply is non-existent or unreliable.
Pumps are used in a wide variety of mission-critical applications where dependable performance can literally be a matter of life and death – from providing municipal drinking water to flood control and wastewater treatment, irrigating farmland, and pumping crude oil and a wide variety of liquids in vital industrial processes. For many of these applications, the pumps are driven by Waukesha natural gas engines or aeroderivative gas turbines such as those manufactured by GE.
How It Works
Engine or turbine-driven pumps may operate continuously in municipal water and sewage treatment utilities, oil production sites and various industrial processes, or they may be needed only intermittently for irrigation or in emergencies, such as for flood control after a major storm.
With a variable speed capability and wide turndown range, a gas engine can vary a pump’s flow rate to meet changing operating needs.
GE’s Waukesha gas engines and aeroderivative gas turbines provide dependable pumping power independent of electrical power sources and are a reliable back-up for electric pumps.
Features & Benefits
Reduced energy waste
- Captured engine or turbine (exhaust) heat is used for other processes, lowering energy and operating costs, and reducing carbon emissions.
- GE offers technology options to meet most local air quality mandates.
- Gas engines can reduce operating costs significantly compared to electric motor-driven compressors by reducing peak demand charges.
Variable speed capability
- An engine’s wide turndown range handles partial-load compressor operation more efficiently than an electric motor.
Lower emissions per horsepower
- Rich-burn Waukesha gas engines with a three-way-catalyst enable more horsepower per site for more productivity and profit.
Total engine control
- GE’s Waukesha ESM fully integrated control and diagnostics system optimizes engine performance and maximizes uptime.
Mechanical Drive Products
With more than 100 years of experience and innovation, GE’s gas turbines provide reliable, efficient, robust power generation in a full range of mechanical drive applications.
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