Opti-Blend is bringing price saving solutions to the table!
Mitigating Rising Fuel Pricing
With unprecedented oil prices, we are facing a 13-year high and are expected pricing to further increase. This has prompted organizations to take a closer look at how they can reduce fuel and operation costs. Diesel national average is over $4.65 per gallon (reference 1) while Natural gas is at an 8-year high currently averaging $3.92 per million British thermal units ((MMBTU) reference 2).
Dual-Fuel, sometimes referred to as bi-fuel, is rapidly growing in popularity. Dual fuel refers to replacing diesel fuel with natural gas which reduces operational costs and improving sustainability. For stand-by power generators, OptiBlend® provides the additional benefit of dramatically extending generator run-time during emergencies by utilizing the much more abundant pipeline-supplied natural gas in place of limited onsite diesel fuel.
OptiBlend® technology is based on the concept that inserting additional energy into the combustion chamber in the form of natural gas, allowing the engine to use less diesel fuel to produce the same power. Typically, 50-70 percent of the diesel fuel normally used can be safely displaced with natural gas, potentially doubling the run time of the engine. The system is a retrofit to the air intake and does not require any modification to the engine itself or the diesel fuel management. This allows OptiBlend® to be installed on nearly any new or existing engine, offering the benefits of dual fuel to almost any facility and organization.
1,000kW generator: Example shows the cost comparison between a generator running 100% on diesel compared to utilizing OptiBlend® at a substitution rate of 65%. Actual results will vary from each engine and manufacturer. The cost savings is directly related to cost of diesel, cost of natural gas, and the number of operation hours.
100% diesel operation
Dual fuel operation
OptiBlend® annual operation savings
Diesel Usage with OptiBlend®
1) Assumes 129,000 BTU/gallon for diesel fuel
2) Assumes natural gas has 1015 BTU/ft3
3) Gas values include a 15% addition for any potential efficiency loss
How it works
The OptiBlend® solution provides traditional, single-speed engines the ability to run on two fuels simultaneously, thus offsetting diesel fuel consumption and thereby extending the runtime. OptiBlend® uses the fumigation method and Venturi-style mixers to introduce natural gas into the intake airstream of a diesel engine. This process of blending diesel and natural gas in an engine is commonly referred to in the industry as dual fuel.
The OptiBlend® system utilizes a specialized gas train consisting of a manual ball valve, a 25-mesh filter, an electric shutoff solenoid, and a zero-pressure regulator (ZPR). The gas train feeds the mixer(s) via an infinitely adjustable throttle valve (butterfly-style) providing industry leading system management. These components offer multiple redundant shutoffs to stop the flow of gas: the throttle and the solenoid can be closed manually, the manual ball valve can be closed, and there is an E-Stop button that will de-energize the system completely. Additionally, by design, the ZPR cannot allow gas to flow unless it senses suction from the engine. This ensures natural gas is only ever drawn into the engine and never forced in under pressure which is inherently safer.
There are no special tools required to install or operate the OptiBlend® system and every setting can be changed via the Human Machine Interface (HMI) making over-the-phone technical support possible. Often, any issues that arise can be solved without a technician on site, which saves expense and minimizes downtime. All components are extremely robust, require very little maintenance, and are designed to stay on and in constant use. Weather it is a backup power or prime power application, OptiBlend® is ready for immediate action when you need it most. OptiBlend® has proven its durability over the past 10 years and to this date, has never damaged or “torched” an engine.
There is no loss in power or engine performance and the system can handle large load swings without issue. OptiBlend® can also run field gas and can adapt in real-time to changes in the chemical makeup in that gas. Lastly, if the natural gas supply was interrupted, the engine will revert to 100% diesel and the OptiBlend® system will go into standby until the correct parameters are met to once again flow gas safely; there is no need for someone to go out and manually restart the OptiBlend® system as we provide an auto restart feature. Generators always run 100% diesel upon startup, retaining the quickness of traditional diesel generators in switchgear response. This is crucial for hospitals because they have a short window for the generators to come online, dedicated natural gas generators often cannot meet this essential specification making OptiBlend® the ideal solution.
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