The oil and gas industry is adopting technologies for cleaner generators and the application of emission controls on diesel engines. Members of the industry are also switching from diesel engines to engines that operate on cleaner natural gas.
Modeling of Distributed Generation Air Quality Impacts
The electric system is experiencing rapid growth in the adoption of a mix of distributed renewable and fossil fuel sources, along with increasing amounts of off-grid generation. New operational regimes may have unforeseen consequences for air quality. A three-dimensional microscale chemical transport model driven by an urban wind model was used to assess gaseous air pollutant and particulate matter impacts within ~10 km of fossil-fueled distributed power generation (DG) facilities during the early afternoon of a typical summer day in Houston, Texas. Three types of DG scenarios were considered in the presence of motor vehicle emissions and a realistic urban canopy: 1) a 25 MW natural gas turbine operating at steady state in either simple cycle or combined heating and power (CHP) mode; 2) a 25 MW simple cycle gas turbine undergoing a cold start-up with either moderate or enhanced formaldehyde emissions; and 3) a datacenter generating 10 MW of emergency power with either diesel or natural gas-fired backup generators (BUGs) without pollution controls. The project was funded by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
E. P. Olaguer, E. Knipping, S. Shaw, and S. Ravindran, 2016; “Microscale Air Quality Impacts of Distributed Power Generation Facilities,” J. Air and Waste Management Assoc., submitted.