METHANE-RUN DEVICES POWER HOMES LANDFILL GAS IS USED TO TURN MICRO-TURBINES TO PRODUCE ELECTRICITY.Byline: Jason Kandel Staff Writer
BURBANK - On a few acres off Bel Aire Drive in Burbank, an experiment in ``green power'' is unfolding.
Eleven micro-turbine jet engines the size of basketballs are spinning generators for power for 100 homes. The engines are fed a unique diet - methane methane (mĕth`ān), CH4, colorless, odorless, gaseous saturated hydrocarbon; the simplest alkane. It is less dense than air, melts at −184°C;, and boils at −161.4°C;. gas diverted di·vert
v. di·vert·ed, di·vert·ing, di·verts
1. To turn aside from a course or direction: Traffic was diverted around the scene of the accident.
2. from the city's landfill.
Burbank has become among the latest California cities to use landfill methane to power micro-turbines.
``It's very environmentally friendly Environmentally friendly, also referred to as nature friendly, is a term used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment. ,'' said Rick Owen, a combustion turbine specialist with Burbank Water and Power. ``It's considered what they call 'green energy.'''
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the turbines run on an automated system, from a flare station on Bel Aire.
Pipes laid out in the landfill collect the methane gas - a byproduct by·prod·uct or by-prod·uct
1. Something produced in the making of something else.
2. A secondary result; a side effect.
Noun 1. of the waste - and carry it to the flare station. There, the gas is filtered and compressed. The filtered gas is sent through pipes to fuel 10 300-kilowatt Capstone turbines Capstone Turbine Corporation NASDAQ: CPST, incorporated in 1988, is a California based gas turbine manufacturer that specializes in microturbine power and heat cogeneration systems. Capstone has sold and shipped more than 3,000 of these one-moving-part systems worldwide. , and one 250-kilowatt Ingersoll-Rand turbine.
The turbines spin generators, which provide electricity.
``I think it's a huge step,'' said Burbank Vice Mayor Todd Campbell, who is also the policy director for the advocacy group Coalition For Clean Air. ``This turns an unfortunate necessity of society into something that can positively benefit our society.''
Campbell said the project goes a long way toward fulfilling the city's goal of using 20 percent renewable energy Renewable energy utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, and hydroelectricity to biomass and biofuels for transportation. by 2017. He said the project also helps cut down the city's reliance on expensive fossil fuels fossil fuel: see energy, sources of; fuel.
Any of a class of materials of biologic origin occurring within the Earth's crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. .
Burbank got a $450,000 grant from the California Energy Commission The California Energy Commission is California’s primary energy policy and planning agency. Created in 1974 and headquartered in Sacramento, the Commission has responsibility for activities that include forecasting future energy needs, promoting energy efficiency through for the Ingersoll turbine as an incentive. The city is paying $90,000 for one year for operations and maintenance costs for the other turbines with Long Beach-based SCS Energy.
The project helps offset the high costs for electricity at a time when the city is struggling to get its $243 million Magnolia Magnolia, city, United States
Magnolia (măgnō`lyə), city (1990 pop. 11,151), seat of Columbia co., SW Ark.; inc. 1855. Its oil industry has been important since 1938. Power Project online. A defective turning gear has delayed Magnolia's opening and has forced the city to spend about $1 million more a month buying electricity during peak times.
Once it goes online, Magnolia is expected to power 55,000 homes and businesses in Burbank, and 195,000 homes and businesses in Pasadena, Anaheim, Colton, Cerritos and Glendale.
Burbank officials are completing tests for the landfill methane-fueled turbine project. They hope that in a few months they can expand it to power 500 homes.
``It's not a lot,'' said Owen, a former gas turbine instructor for a Houston firm. ``But it will help out.''
Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306
Burbank Water and Power combustion turbine specialist Rick Owen shows off a bank of turbines that are fueled by landfill methane gas and produce 30 kilowatts each, or enough power to serve 100 homes.
David Sprague/Staff Photographer