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Power When it Matters: Diesel-Powered Backup Generators for Port Operations

1271 Days ago

Diesel’s unique benefits, response times and environmental credentials highlighted for leading port operators

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Sept. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When America’s ports face a disaster, diesel-powered backup generators are a technology of choice, offering unique operational and economic benefits for port operations.

These are sentiments shared recently at the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Energy and Environment Seminar by Ezra Finkin, the Diesel Technology Forum’s Director of Policy and External Affairs, as he addressed the nation’s port managers and senior port executives. 

“The smooth operation of America’s ports depends upon a continuous electrical supply. Diesel gensets are in the field today, providing reliable, economic and sustainable mission-critical services to communities around the globe,” said Finkin. “Diesel offers an option that port operators can depend upon, while reducing costs and minimizing risks. Outages owing to severe weather events – like Hurricane Florence, now threatening the entire Eastern Seaboard – are becoming more costly; the average outage costs between $18 billion and $33 billion. Reliable sources of emergency backup power can help mitigate the downtime and economic impacts of an outage.”

While there are many technology and fuel-type options, none match diesel’s unique capabilities, especially when it comes to emergency backup power.

  • Diesel is one of the only technologies capable of providing full load within seconds of an outage. It takes 10 seconds or less for start-up and full load handling with a diesel-powered genset. Other fuel sources may take up to two minutes, which may be too long in many emergency situations, and out of compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Fully transportable and accessible, diesel generators and fuel can also be delivered to almost any location, including the most remote.
  • The latest Tier 4 near-zero emissions clean diesel innovations are available now in mobile and stationary diesel emergency power generators, ready and capable of meeting resiliency, preparedness and recovery needs while minimizing environmental impact.

“Today, almost every community relies upon diesel generators for emergency power to schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, wastewater treatment facilities, courts, shelters, and more,” said Finkin. “Outages can also be caused by activities other than severe weather, such as bad people looking to do bad things to our electricity grid. Sources of emergency backup power can help minimize these risks and reduce these costs by providing grid resiliency. Diesel backstops for renewable microgrids can also provide necessary reliability when sources of renewable energy may be offline.”

Prime examples of diesel generators in action include

  • Just two weeks ago, an earthquake knocked out power to a nuclear power plant in Japan.  A bank of diesel generators came online seamlessly, allowing necessary repair work to conclude while keeping the plant and the surrounding community safe.
  • After SuperStorm Sandy, northeast states incentivized or required retail fuel locations to install necessary electrical switchgear to accept a mobile generator to allow first responders to refuel and keep motorists on evacuation routes.
  • We live in the age of ‘The Cloud.’ Our economy depends on cloud communications and large data centers and server farms help facilitate these transactions. In many instances, banks of diesel generators are able to keep our connected economy moving when the power goes out.  One large 480,000-square-foot data center in Manassas, Va., has a bank of 28 large diesel generators capable of proving power for 48 hours. 
  • An interesting application of a diesel-backed sustainable microgrid was seen during Super Bowl 50 in San Francsico, Calif. A large bank of Tier 4 diesel generators using renewable diesel fuel powered Super Bowl City, helping reduce the event’s greenhouse gas emissions along with other criteria pollutants.

A copy of Mr. Finkin’s slides is available at https://www.dieselforum.org/files/dmfile/AAPA-Presentation_091218.pdf

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About The Diesel Technology Forum
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of Diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean Diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean Diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner Diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information, visit http://www.dieselforum.org.


Sarah Dirndorfer
Diesel Technology Forum

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