New propane power generation innovations can meet environmental building codes
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is reminding construction professionals about the benefits of specifying and building with propane during National Preparedness Month. Propane is an ideal energy source for prime and secondary power generation because it’s a low-carbon energy option that is efficient and reliable.
“Weather extremes like heat waves, tornadoes, and winter storms have a direct impact on the fragile electric grid causing it to go offline. Businesses are put at risk and can be financially impacted because of those power outages,” said Jim Bunsey, director of commercial business development at PERC. “Including propane power generation systems ensures critical systems keep working even when the electric grid isn’t.”
The demand for secondary power sources is growing. More than half of states recognize combined heat and power (CHP) systems as part of their Renewable Portfolio Standards or Energy Efficiency Resource Standards. Several states, including Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington, have initiated specific production incentive programs for CHP technologies. And that list is expanding.
“Builders are working to meet stringent energy and environmental codes,” said Bunsey. “Because propane works in tandem with other clean energy sources like solar and wind, it is another solution to help builders meet guidelines in updated Standards.”
From micro-CHP units to innovative boiler systems and microgrids, there are several prime and secondary power generation systems available in a variety of sizes for construction professionals to utilize in designs. When those systems use propane, they are better for the environment. Propane produces 52 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using the equivalent amount of electricity generated from the U.S. grid. That’s because a significant portion of electricity production comes from natural gas or coal generation plants which release CO2 emissions as part of the generation process.
Propane is becoming cleaner with the development of renewable propane. Renewable propane Renewable propane has the same great features as conventional propane—reliability, portability, and reduced carbon emissions—but with even lower carbon emissions when compared with other energy sources. Made from a variety of renewable sources including plant oils, bio-waste, and used cooking grease, renewable propane has one of the lowest carbon intensity scores. While the carbon intensity of renewable propane depends on the renewable resource, it scores between 20.5 and 43.5 (grams CO2 equivalent per megajoule). Comparatively, conventional propane’s carbon intensity score is 80, diesel is 100, and gasoline is 101.
Construction professionals can download PERCs free resource, The Ultimate Guide to Power Generationin-depth look at propane’s capabilities as a resilient energy source for residential, commercial, and industrial use. Learn more about the benefits of propane at Propane.com.