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Unlocking value in power generation: rich-burn vs lean-burn gas solutions

Unlocking value in power generation: rich-burn vs lean-burn gas solutions 

As the overall demand for cleaner power generation continues to drive innovation in the production of energy, there is an increasing shift to gas generators for both prime and standby power and as an alternative to mains connection for those who also want to take control of costs, save money and fix long-term prices for on-site power generation. Extraordinary weather and the resulting power outages are likely to continue accelerating the trend towards gas generators in industrial sectors, particularly when the cost of gas remains low and relatively stable in comparison to electricity. 

There are two different types of gas generators on the market today: rich-burn and lean-burn, each with its own benefits.

 The terms rich-burn and lean-burn simply refer to the way in which the engine burns fuel - the air-to-fuel ratio. A rich-burn engine is characterised by excess fuel in the combustion chamber during combustion; and a lean-burn engine, is characterised by excess air in the combustion chamber during combustion. 

About rich-burn 

If you are looking for a clean, reliable alternative to diesel power, then a rich-burn natural gas generator could be the answer.

 These generators are suitable for all applications that require extended run time, low exhaust or noise emissions, or that have location constraints for on-site fuel storage, such as rooftop installations. 

Using a gas supply to power your site, also means a substantial cost saving can be achieved, and any CAPEX on equipment can quickly be recouped. 

Rich-burn gas generators are ideal for commercial property, retail and health facilities. The main benefits being; significant cost savings; reliable, secure supply of electrical power; proven technology; and ease of installation – there is a small equipment foot print and you can literally plug-in and go, including the gas supply! 

Rich-burn gas engines are associated with applications where transient load response is more critical than fuel efficiency. They are typically applied in prime and emergency standby applications due to their quick starting and transient performance. Prime power applications with variable loads are best served with these engines. 

Rich-burn gas engines operate with the AFR at a higher concentration of fuel to air. It is a fuel-rich mixture. Rich-burn engines generally operate with (λ) equal to 0.995. 

With a three-way catalyst, rich-burn gensets provide the lowest emissions available from a combustion engine generator.  Rich-burn engines accept a block load and operate at a wide load range. 

High power ratio rich-burn engines can deliver competitive fuel efficiency in the lower running hours of energy management applications. This can be especially true when considering part-load operations. 

Site requirements:

  • You need electricity
  • Load profile of 8-10 hours per day
  • Car parking size space available for equipment 

About lean-burn 

Lean-burn gas engines are associated with high electrical efficiencies.  Due to the efficiency advantage, they are commonly used for baseload plants and cogeneration. 

Lean-burn gas engines operate with an AFR that has a higher concentration of air than what is needed to burn all of the fuel, making it a ‘fuel-lean’ mixture. Lean-burn engines operate with (λ) anywhere between 1.5 and 2.2.

 If your business is a high-volume user of electricity and currently mains connected then this technology could be ideal for you.  DTGen offers this equipment both as a capital purchase or as a fully-funded PPA solution, that enables you to take control of your energy and generate your own continuous power onsite using the new lean-burn gas generators, behind the meter. This fully-funded gas to power energy solution will significantly reduce your energy costs, quickly. 

This solution is ideal for facilities with high electrical energy consumption (200kW and above), such as food and drink manufacturing or large-scale industrial manufacturing. Providing budget stability, the lean-burn solution enables you to lower your dependency on the grid whilst ensuring a reliable, secure supply of electrical power.  

Site requirements:

  • Hourly baseload usage of at least 200kW
  • Car parking size space available for equipment 

When it comes to gas generators, DTGen can provide a complete turnkey package: from design and installation to service and maintenance – keeping your equipment in tiptop condition year after year.  

Let us help you take control of your energy costs. Arrange a free, no-obligation, energy consultation and survey. Contact the team on T: 0141 956 7764 E:

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