Inverter-Based Cogeneration InVerde®, INV-100
Tecogen’s InVerde INV-100 Premium Power CHP Module takes the many benefits of modular cogeneration, as pioneered by Tecogen, a step farther. The InVerde INV-100 delivers important new additional benefits to building owners.
The InVerde INV-100 Module retains many of the same design concepts and philosophies from Tecogen’s established CM-60 and CM-75 Cogeneration Modules. These include the use of Tecogen’s advanced and proven engine technology, which offers the highest overall efficiencies, significant operating cost savings, ultra-low emissions controls, and practical long-term serviceability.
The InVerde INV-100 incorporates some revolutionary new features that create new classes of applications, and beneficial opportunities for building owners.
In the InVerde INV-100, the engine is coupled to a permanent magnet generator, instead of to a traditional induction-type electrical generator as in the CM-60 and CM-75. The electrical output from the INV-100’s generator is then fed through an inverter, which conditions the power to make it suitable for interconnection to the local utility grid.
The InVerde INV-100’s use of an inverter is truly unique in the world of engine-driven CHP modules. Benefits include:
- Streamlined Interconnection – The INV-100’s use of an inverter affords building owners even simpler interconnection options with local electrical utilities.
- Exceptional Part-Load Performance – The INV-100’s inverter allows the engine to operate over a wide speed range, instead of at a single fixed speed. Variable-speed operation yields improved performance and efficiency when the unit is operating at part-load, analogous to applying a variable frequency drive (VFD) on an electrical motor.
Black-Start Capability – Finally, the INV-100’s use of a permanent magnet generator and inverter together provides the unit with an optional and unique new “black-start” capability. This means a building owner can potentially utilize the INV-100 to provide his facility with “supplemental stand-by” generation (also called “convenience power”) during utility outages, in addition to operating the unit normally when the utility is up.
When this option is selected, whenever the lights go out, the facility’s important loads get switched over for service by one or more INV-100’s during the utility outage. Once utility grid power is restored, the building’s loads get switched back to service by the utility. The INV-100 then resumes its normal operation in “grid-tie” mode, meaning it goes back to operating in parallel with the electric utility.
The INV-100’s stand-by capability is achieved without the use of large and costly battery banks to handle rapid load changes, as would normally be required in the case of microturbines. Also, due to the InVerde’s unique control software, standby operation of multiple modules is achieved without the need for certain external supervisory control systems.
Of course, at the same time, the INV-100 still yields the building owner all the traditional efficiency and operating cost benefits that come from CHP, via its thrifty capture of waste heat.
As with Tecogen’s CM-60 and CM-75 Cogeneration Modules, the InVerde INV-100 Premium
Power CHP Module is fully ETL-labeled to the relevant UL standards, and would be expected to qualify for simplified electrical interconnection with most local utilities. The InVerde is also CE marked for applications in Europe.
All InVerde units are run-tested at full-load at Tecogen’s factory before being shipped to customer sites. This confirms proper performance and set-up in both “grid-tie” and “stand-by” modes, as part of Tecogen’s rigorous QC procedures. InVerde units are backed by Tecogen’s popular factory service programs.
Common options for the INV-100 include ultra-low emissions control packages, which allow these units to obtain local air permits in all parts of the country, and outdoor enclosures.