Biodiesel is going to be part of care for our nation’s veterans at a Veterans Administration hospital in Houston. The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will use a Fairbanks Morse Engine for a 3 MW combined-heat-and-power (CHP) system to general contractor SpawGlass for a power plant expansion.
The Fairbanks Morse dual-fuel, opposed-piston, engine-driven system is designed to operate on either biodiesel fuel or natural gas and has been selected for its ability to meet the multiple requirements set for the project, said Steve Smith, Fairbanks Morse sales manager for the project. These requirements include helping the facility meet the VA’s requirements for the amount of power to be generated from renewable resources. Other project considerations were energy efficiency, reliability, fuel flexibility and the ability to meet stringent local emissions regulations.
The 12-cylinder, turbo-blower Fairbanks Morse genset will be a standby power unit. When in use, it will operate for a designated period on B99 biodiesel fuel, and for the remainder of its operating time, on natural gas, with a one percent biodiesel pilot. The electricity the system generates will be sent to the grid, offsetting the VA’s power consumption from the local utility. Heat from the engine will be recovered and used to heat water for the hospital.
This genset is just part of a 12 MW power plant expansion that includes several smaller gensets fueled solely by biodiesel.