Transportable power plants uses locomotive engine
to generate electricity
Roanoke, VA— ARE-Energy,
a division of American Railroad Equipment (ARE), introduced a
new transportable power plant that uses refurbished locomotive
engines and parts to generate continuous, dependable and affordable
electricity anywhere in the world.
The Series 3000 unit, developed
over the past four years, is ideal for customers in remote regions
and developing nations, where power generation remains a challenge,
and as supplemental power in the U.S.
Encased in three easily transportable,
patent-pending containers that serve as permanent, on-site housing,
the power plant can operate on both natural gas and diesel fuel,
a combination that reduces total installation and operating costs,
especially in regions rich in natural gas.
The unit can support or supplement
the electrical needs of large towns, including water treatment
facilities, electrical utilities, food processing plants and other
industries at one-third less than the standard industry cost for
continuous power generation.
The power plant, created by a
company dedicated to recycling, is environmentally friendly. Most
major components, including the engines, are recycled or re-manufactured,
with new parts and features added to increase fuel efficiency.
Its dual fuel capabilities help to reduce emissions while the
containers offer sound-proofing panels. In addition, exhaust and
engine heat can be recaptured to produce hot water.
The power plant also will be
tested to operate with renewable fuels, such as bio-diesel, landfill
gas and coal-bed methane.
ARE-Energy currently is marketing
the unit to potential customers and hopes to sell 10 to 12 of
the power plants in 2006. Commercial production is expected to
begin in the fourth quarter of 2005, initially creating 15-20
jobs in Roanoke, where the units will be assembled using parts
from suppliers throughout Virginia and across the U.S.
“The power of the locomotive
roars on,” said Jay Brenner, president of American Railroad
Equipment and its parent company, Cycle Systems Inc. “Unlike
typical portable generating systems, the heart of our power plant
is a re-manufactured, 16-cylinder General Electric locomotive
engine that can run on two fuel sources 24 hours a day. Locomotive
engines are built to be rugged and reliable. In fact, some railways
run their locomotives all day, every day of the year. It is this
kind of power, durability and efficiency we are harnessing for
our new product.
“Another benefit over competing
systems is the size of our power plant,” Brenner added.
“It can conveniently be carried in three 9-foot-6-inch high,
20-foot-long containers by road, rail, sea or air anywhere in
the world and can be placed on a 12-foot by 70-foot concrete slab.
This is an advantage for the growing on-site power segment of
the electric power industry. In addition, the combination of recycling
parts and re-manufacturing core railroad components offers a lower
total installation cost to potential customers.”
A locomotive’s power system
generates electricity to power the traction motors and drive the
wheels. ARE Energy has modified and transferred these systems
into a power plant made up of three parts a cooling module, housing
a radiator system and fans; the engine module housing the engine,
turbocharger and lubrication subsystems; and the electrical module
containing all switchgear and controls.
Each unit can provide up to 3
megawatts of continuous power — enough to meet the needs
of 10,000 to 15,000 people daily in the developing world or 2,000
to 3,000 people in the U.S.