National DG/CHP Performance and Testing Program
Purpose: To remove a barrier to the increased use of distributed
generation technologies - namely, the unavailability of uniform and
documented information on the electrical, environmental, and mechanical
performance of distributed generation (DG) and distributed
generation/combined heat and power (DG/CHP) systems.
Scope: Interim protocols have been developed for microturbines,
reciprocating engines, and small turbines up to 3 MW in laboratories and 7
MW in field applications. The goal is to establish nationally accepted
laboratory and field performance testing protocols for DG systems, including
those used in CHP applications. A fuel cell performance protocol is being
developed, and other DG technologies may be added in the future. The
performance data collected under the protocols are available through a
national, Web-accessible database at the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory. The project is not structured to develop certification
standards; however, the protocols and data collected may be useful in the
development of standards and certifications.
Supporting Institutions and Process: The project is funded and
administered by a number of state institutions working through the
Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions
(ASERTTI), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Cooperative Agreement
DE-FC36-02GO12017, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The
state entities are the California Energy Commission, Energy Center of
Wisconsin, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The University of
Illinois - Chicago is responsible for the development and publication of
case studies under the protocols. The U.S. Department of Defense Fuel Cell
Test and Evaluation Center operated by Concurrent Technology Corporation
became a project supporter in the Fall of 2004. The project is administered
by a steering committee from these organizations as described in the
protocols. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also providing
support through a separate working relationship.
Contractors: The Gas Technology Institute, Underwriters
Laboratories, Southern Research Institute, and Connected Energy Corp. are
the principal contractors.
Public Interest and Industry Input: A 28-member Stakeholder
Advisory Committee (SAC) is a key part of this effort. It advises the
development of protocols and serves as a mechanism to encourage the use of
the protocols and resulting data by manufacturers and system owners and
developers. The SAC consists of end users, public interest organizations,
researchers, system developers, and manufacturers.