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NATURAL GAS COGENERATION IS RELIABLE, STUDY CONCLUDES

 CHICAGO, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Cogeneration systems fueled by natural gas exceed the reliability of most central station power generating units, according to a recent study conducted for Gas Research Institute (GRI) by ARINC Corporation. The results are expected to enhance the acceptance of natural-gas-fueled cogeneration and to help system operators improve the operational reliability of existing units.
 Various types and sizes of gas systems reported average availability factors ranging from 90 to 95.8 percent versus a weighted average of 85.9 percent for fossil-fuel-steam, nuclear, and gas-based central station power generating units. Comparisons are based on study data and data reported by the North American Electric Reliability Council for utility power plants. According to GRI, gas cogeneration can improve utility operations because as a group the relatively small, dispersed cogeneration units are more reliable than one or more large central station units of similar capacity.
 In the study, researchers obtained operating data from 122 natural gas cogeneration units nationwide representing 2200 megawatts (MW) of capacity and nearly 2 million hours of operating time at 37 facilities. Units were grouped into categories reflecting size (from 60 kilowatts to 100 MW), type of system (gas engine or gas turbine technology), use of emission controls, and type of thermal application.
 Natural gas is the fuel of choice for most operating and developmental cogeneration projects, which provide both power and heat for onsite use. Developers favor natural gas systems because of their low capital cost, short construction lead time, flexible sizing, and economic benefits.
 Operational reliability is an important factor in electric utility acceptance of gas cogeneration systems. It is also important to system operators, who may be required to meet contractual requirements or pay high demand charges for purchased back-up power. The highly detailed GRI study identifies possible system and component improvements that could further improve operational reliability. Analytical methods used in the study could also help operators to evaluate their systems and identify cost-effective improvements in system design and maintenance.
 GRI is a not-for-profit research and development organization that works on behalf of the natural gas industry and its customers. GRI funds R&D in gas-fueled equipment, gas exploration and production, and gas industry operations.
 -0- 2/16/93
 /CONTACT: Scott Schaedel of Gas Research Institute, 312-399-8128/


CO: Gas Research Institute ST: Illinois IN: OIL SU:

GK-LR -- NY005 -- 6727 02/16/93 09:02 EST
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Date:Feb 16, 1993
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