Power-Gen Shows Off Its Muscle

By Staff January 1, 2006

In a crowded Sands Convention Center—cohabited by the Cowboy Christmas Show—Detroit Diesel appeared to be the hands-down winner of the biggest generator on the Power-Gen floor with an impressive 2,800-kW unit. Not to be outdone, but keeping it under wraps until the end of day two, Waukesha Engine unveiled a 3,000-kW natural gas unit during a news conference. But the real buzz of the show was how to get to the lower emissions the EPA is now requiring of genset manufacturers.

Regarding that last subject, Caterpillar debuted its ACERT line. “By 2010 emissions must be less than 3%. That’s a 30th less than allowed in 1990, so that’s a significant challenge,” said Cat’s Walt Bradbury.

Cummins, at its booth, had a white paper on hand on the topic to go along with the display of its already-Tier 3-compliant genset. “We’re the only manufacturer to have a Tier 3-compliant generator that meets the new EPA guidelines.”

The secret of Cummins’ success, according to Sheldon, is optimizing combustion of internal cylinders. “We’ve been doing a lot with electronic fuel injection so we can get multiple injections per combustions, allowing it to be cleaner burning and reducing NOx.”

Waukesha’s natural gas high-efficiency gensets already feature much lower emissions than their diesel counterparts, but the manufacturer felt compelled to provide a bigger unit for what it perceives is a growing marketplace. “The APG series is a bridge between the robust engine design that has been so highly valued by our traditional customer base and the state-of-the-art technology required by the power-generation market,” said Paul Cannestra, Waukesha’s vice president of marketing.

The 3-MW “Enginator” unit the vendor displayed at the show is not quite ready for prime time, but should be available later in the year.