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CHP system helping pharma plant exceed green goals

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Aircogen CHP Solutions, a Dresser-Rand strategic business unit, provides a complete range of fully packaged and tested combined heat and power (CHP) systems to commercial, industrial and municipal energy users worldwide

In August 2008, the company designed and installed a CHP system for Transform Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company in Lexington, Mass., and the first year of operation has shown impressive results.

CHP systems produce more usable energy through the highly efficient production of power, heating and cooling with less impact on the global environment than using delivered electric power from a central power station (a dramatic net decrease in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Transform Pharmaceuticals has a corporate mandate to reduce its energy costs and greenhouse emissions by seven percent in 2010, and through its partnership with Aircogen SBU the company’s 250-kilowatt solar thermal-assisted trigeneration system exceeds this goal.

When the system was installed in August 2008, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick commended Johnson & Johnson on its commitment to saving energy and contributing to the local economy, and to the project partners for supporting the state’s green energy initiative.

More recently, in May 2009, Transform Pharmaceuticals was one of 10 organizations honored as a “Northeast Business Leader for Energy Efficiency” by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP).

It was nominated by National Grid and selected for recognition based upon several factors: its commitment to achieving energy savings through cost-effective energy efficiency investments; addressing comprehensive changes in major energy systems; improving energy performance through operational practices and management level support; and demonstrating leadership to advance energy efficiency.

In combination with the renewable solar thermal energy, the system is generating approximately $220,000 in energy savings each year. Operating at approximately 80 percent efficiency, the system compares favorably to grid power that can be as low as 35 percent efficient at the generation point, with an additional efficiency loss of seven to nine percent in the transmission and distribution system.

In August 2009, the trigeneration system completed its first full year of operation. The system achieved an operational availability of 97 percent at full load with an average operating efficiency of 78 percent, delivering 2098 MWhrs of electricity and recovering 5280 MWhrs of useful thermal energy.

“This project demonstrates how the correct application of a packaged trigeneration system can help corporate America deliver on its carbon reduction promises while delivering energy savings and improving competitiveness,” said Ian Hopkins, general manager of the Aircogen SBU operations based in the United States. “Now more than ever it’s important that industrial energy users maximize their fuel efficiency. One way to do this is through this type of distributed generation.”

A CHP, or cogeneration system, offers an environmentally friendly option for providing power and energy where it’s needed through the simultaneous generation of usable heat and electricity.

As opposed to cogeneration, which deals only with power and heat, trigeneration is the simultaneous production of power, heat, and cooling. The chiller is assembled with all necessary pumps, heat exchangers, and controls in an engineered package of the same construction as the matched CHP unit. Cooling of the absorption chiller package and engine system is provided by a separate, closed circuit cooling water system controlled by the integrated trigeneration control system.

Aircogen’s trigeneration systems are designed to precisely match client requirements for electricity, heating and cooling. At Transform Pharmaceuticals the performance of the trigeneration system was further supplemented by a solar thermal array delivering additional heat to the systems primary hot water circuit for transfer to either the heating or cooling demand of the facility.

Transform’s 250kW unit provides continuous, on-site-generated electricity, heating, and cooling to its manufacturing facility from a single, natural gas fuel source. The unit is capable of delivering 1.3 million BTUs of hot water at 180 degrees Fahrenheit or up to 75 tons of chilled water via an absorption chiller. These outputs provide approximately 29 percent of the site’s cooling demand and 38 percent of its hot water demand on a typical design day.

During the same period, it is estimated that it will reduce the site’s carbon footprint by nearly 1,000 tons. The unit is fuelled by clean natural gas and, by using a catalytic converter system, achieves emission levels well within EPA guidelines ((NOx <0.1 g/bhp.hr CO <0.6g/bhp.hr).

The Aircogen SBU recently secured an order to supply a 555kWe solar thermal trigeneration system to Boston Scientific in Marlborough, Mass. The unit is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2010.

About Dresser-Rand

Dresser-Rand is among the largest suppliers of rotating equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical and process industries. The company operates manufacturing facilities in the United States, France, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, China and India, and maintains a network of 35 service and support centers covering more than 140 countries.

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