Generating cleaner, greener energy on your own

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems have been gaining popularity thanks to the way they recover wasted energy and reuse it as both valuable electricity and heat. CHP is not new. It has been used successfully in some countries for over the past 30 years. Industrial buildings, high-rise apartments, hospitals, schools and healthcare centers that have a need to produce their own distributed energy stand to gain the greatest advantage with CHP systems by gaining an extra 40% in efficiency compared with conventional methods of producing heat and electricity separately.

Power converters

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The Switch CHP converters are based on the extensively service-proven, full-power converter technology from The Switch, currently used to generate over 6.5 GW of wind energy. The Switch power converters are compatible with both permanent magnet and non-permanent magnet fixed speed synchronous generators.

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Next generation permanent-magnet based technology

The Switch – High-speed permanent magnet generator

The Switch CHP solutions bring energy efficiency, proven reliability, interconnectivity and lower energy costs to new or existing buildings, plants and utility infrastructures. They take full advantage of renewable fuels, such as digester gas or water sewage, in combination with conventional fuels, like natural gas or diesel.

Using a CHP drive train for distributed power generation is a relatively new approach that delivers the variable speed advantage of running a generator on partial loads from 50–100%. There is no need for overdimensioning. Additional engines can be started only when needed, which saves money.

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Traditional synchronous machine-based technology

Separately excited conventional synchronous gensets also benefit from The Switch CHP solutions. Short circuit current is limited by utilizing the power converter, which simplifies retro-fit implementation with existing equipment.

The ability to control power output allows for fast dynamic control of building import levels to precise values. Certification of UL grid requirements for co-gen applications allows for readily accepted installations. Isolation between the generator and the grid via the power converter allows for variable reactive power factor control of both generator and utility for optimal operation.

Advantages of The Switch CHP solutions

Energy efficiency and peak shaving capability

Reduce building demand charges and lower the cost of energy in CHP applications.

Distributed generation interconnectivity

The ability of The Switch converters to be disconnected within 3 milliseconds has led to their approval by New York State and other major Northeast utilities in the US.

Grid support functionality

Provides dynamic volt-ampere reactive (VAR) power, thereby limiting current surges. The Switch converters comply with UL and IEEE requirements and disconnect during UL events.

Variable speed advantage

Allows operation at partial loads to save money and produce the right amount of energy when needed.

Emergency backup power

Emergency backup supply with back start capability offers a reliable energy supply. Isolated loads are secured.

Highest level of performance

The Switch converters are based on extensively service-proven technology. We offer a full range of converters from 160 to 1600 kW. Three power classes are available: 160–500 kW, 650–800 kW and 1–1.6 MW.

The Switch converters enable the engine heat to be utilized efficiently with peak load capabilities and allow more distributed generation and automatic load sharing.

The heart of The Switch converter is an advanced air-cooled or liquid-cooled four-quadrant inverter system. The converter meets the highest standards for harmonics, flicker and fault ride-through (FRT).

The converter’s reactive power control supports grid stability by supplying reactive power on demand, which is required for optimal generator load and reactive power compensation.

References

One Penn Plaza, USA

The Switch was selected to provide five CHP converters to the One Penn Plaza building in New York City.

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Yonkers, USA

Following on the success of the Gateway project, The Switch delivered another CHP converter to the Yonkers Waste Water Treatment plant. This innovative installation utilizes gas from the digester to create electrical power. The converter allows the plants to accurately control power production and meet grid interconnect requirements.

Gateway, USA

In 2012, The Switch made a significant CHP converter delivery to the Gateway building in White Plains, New York. Commissioning was carried out in early 2013. The installation featured 3 converters in parallel and included an HMI. This was the second 2 MW+ installation for The Switch in the New York area.