Energy Solutions and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Research Cogeneration Technologies in New Gas Engine Test Lab

Mannheim, February 01, 2017
The gas engine test lab (GEL) hosts two large MWM TCG 2032 gas engines, each of which delivers an electrical output of 4.5 MW. As a cogeneration plant, the GEL supplies the networks of Campus North of the KIT with heat and power. Thanks to the efficient technology, the KIT saves operating costs of about €600,000 a year, reduces its primary energy consumption by about 12 percent, and avoids 10,000 t of carbon emissions a year.

The cogeneration plant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
The cogeneration plant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Effective Campus Development at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

With more than 9,000 employees and about 25,000 students, the KIT is one of Europe’s largest research universities. It consumes about 120 GWh of electrical energy and 80 GWh of thermal energy a year. Within the scope of the campus development, the facilities continue to be developed for more efficiency, e.g. by means of a solar storage park, energy efficiency renovation of college buildings, and the procurement of ecopower and district heat.

Students Benefit from the Cooperation between Caterpillar Energy Solutions and KIT

The jointly operated gas engine test lab will further intensify the existing close collaboration between the KIT and Caterpillar Energy Solutions.

“For almost 20 years, we have cooperated intensively and effectively with the KIT in the field of engine and plant development”, explains Heinrich Baas, Head of New Systems Technologies at Caterpillar Energy Solutions.

Thanks to the GEL, a new framework for bachelor’s and master’s theses has been introduced at the KIT in collaboration with Caterpillar Energy Solutions. Ultimately, both the research facility and the company as well as the students benefit from this arrangement. “Through our joint work with the KIT, we mutually expand our competencies”, says Peter Körner, Managing Director of Caterpillar Energy Solutions. “Through the cooperation, we supplement the research possibilities of our Mannheim location, which fulfills an important role as the group’s research, administration, and production site for Caterpillar gas engine solutions.”

Henceforth, research work on subjects such as an improved useful life, combustion technology, reduced exhaust emissions, and enhanced control strategies will be researched and tested in the gas engine test lab. Owing to their flexible operating capabilities, gas engines are especially important for balancing the fluctuating renewable energy from wind and photovoltaics. With its MWM and Cat brands, Caterpillar Energy Solutions is a leading provider in this area.

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