General Electric on Tuesday introduced a new tool to grow the biogas-fueled on-site generation market that takes advantage of fuels from landfills, wastewater treatment plants and agricultural waste.

GE introduced its latest version of a Waukesha Gas Engine (APG 1000) in response to demand for more biogas engine choices in the lower-output range. “Unique operational challenges” for engines used in landfill and digester biogas-to-energy projects prompted it to redesign and rethink the Waukesha to make it smaller and more flexible. The modifications are embodied in the new APG 1000 model aimed at smaller biogas projects, GE said.

The engine with its new biogas fuel system is a “significant improvement” in load stability, accommodating fluctuations in heating value of the fuel gas, according to Bob Weston, managing director of Entec Services Ltd., a New Zealand-based energy firm that provides components for Dresser Inc.’s Waukesha Engines.

GE recently acquired Dresser as well as Calnetix Power Solutions, which developed “Clean Cycle,” a small, 125 kW waste-heat generation module that is said to boost the efficiency of small biogas projects.

Small digester and landfill gas projects are usually prone to varying fuel quality, and the new engine is designed to overcome this. It has a new system providing an automated response to fuel gas fluctuations. Through its 18-month redesign process, GE modified the engine’s combustion chamber; developed a new spark plug design and simplified the fuel control system. As a result, the engine can operate uninterrupted through fuel quality fluctuations with “little or no manual intervention,” GE said.

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