Promoting the Clean and Efficient Use of Energy Resources and taking advantage of natural gas to displace higher-cost energy.
U.S. natural gas consumption has been on the rise, and the outlook through 2020 indicates growing use of natural gas in homes, businesses, and manufacturing plants, as well as for power generation and a growing number of transportation applications. GTI’s focus is on efficient and environmentally preferred new technologies that fit the needs of consumers. These new technologies are cost effective and, take advantage of clean natural gas to displace higher-cost energy.
Residential/Commercial Appliances and Equipment
GTI is creating a suite of high-efficiency natural gas residential and commercial technologies. We have specialized expertise in residential space conditioning and water heating, with a focus on traditional equipment such as furnaces, boilers and HVAC systems; water heaters (advanced tank and tankless products as well as solar thermal systems); and cooking equipment. We are also researching efficiency solutions and whole-building energy solutions for residential housing.
In the commercial sector, we partner closely with equipment manufacturers to develop and introduce more efficient fryers, ovens, steamers, charbroilers, griddles, warewashers and other food service equipment for restaurants and institutional foodservice providers. Our space conditioning solutions include rooftop packaged equipment, unit heaters, natural gas cooling, and desiccant dehumidification (which address indoor comfort and air quality), advancements for water heating and steam generation, and integrated natural gas/solar thermal solutions.
GTI is also working on cross-cutting topics such as smart energy technology and micro combined heat and power (micro CHP) systems.
GTI can provide technology assessments, demonstrations and scaled field placements, market and behavioral studies, codes and standards development, training and education, and other means to increase product adoption.
Fisher-Nickel, Inc. (FNI), a professional services firm with deep expertise in commercial kitchen energy efficiency and appliance performance testing, was acquired by GTI in early 2014. FNI operates the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), a fuel-neutral scientific testing facility. Under the FSTC program, FNI has developed over 40 standard test methods (STMs), impacted energy efficiency codes and standards, produced appliance reports and documentation, conducted training and education seminars, and provided site surveys and audits for the commercial foodservice industry. FNI also provides many of these services for other utilities, restaurant operators, equipment manufacturers, and energy efficiency service providers throughout North America.
Industrial Process Heat and Steam
GTI is making significant contributions to the strong market position of natural gas in the industrial sector, developing a portfolio of industrial technologies that include waste-heat recovery as an integral part of energy savings. Current projects address the process heating needs of steel, paper, plastics, metal finishing, aluminum, glass, food processing, heat treating, petroleum, forging and cement industries. GTI is working with a number of international companies to commercial a new technology for use in the glass, specialty chemicals, and other high-temperature melting applications. GTI also has deep expertise in industrial combustion, including the development of ultra-low NOx burners and combustion systems.
Power Generation and Combined Heat and Power
Researchers are working to deploy technologies designed to advance the implementation of natural-gas-fired power generation, concentrating on meeting stringent emissions standards with low-NOx burners, sensing and emissions control systems, and gas quality sensors. GTI has specialized expertise in market analysis, product development, testing and evaluation, and demonstration for residential and light commercial CHP technology and industrial CHP systems that use waste heat as opportunity fuels to produce steam.
Our researchers also have capabilities developing hydrogen fuel cell technology and coal and biomass gasification for power generation. We have significant experience in areas such as combustion, heat transfer, catalysis, and membrane separations, and can assist in developing approaches and packaged products for integrated systems and solutions.
Alternative Transportation Fuels
GTI is a leader in developing technologies and solutions that have solidified the NGV market and advanced the use of hydrogen (H2) as a transportation fuel. We are developing technologies which support next-generation compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles and engines, testing and development of new NGV components and systems, and development and deployment of NGV and hydrogen fueling stations.
Research teams are working on several fronts to lower the costs of NGV adoption and fueling infrastructure, while positioning the natural gas industry to facilitate market growth in a capital-efficient manner.
We also have initiatives looking at creating CNG, LNG, and hydrogen from renewable and sustainable energy sources such as landfills and wastewater treatment facilities.
Full-Fuel Cycle Measures of Energy Use
GTI is providing important factual and technical information regarding the benefits of source energy—which measures energy consumption from the point of origin to the point of use and include energy losses that occur with conversion and distribution—and greenhouse gas methodologies. GTI has developed a range of analytical tools that help quantitatively assess full-fuel-cycle energy and emissions impacts.
Natural Gas-Solar Thermal Hybrid Equipment
GTI’s Solar Thermal R&D portfolio focuses on advancements of traditional lower-temperature solar thermal (less than 200°F) for hot water or space heating, and newer higher-temperature (over 200°F) systems that can be used for steam generation, absorption cooling, process heating, and other value-added uses.
Renewable Natural Gas and Gas Quality
GTI is active in a range of renewable and sustainable energy developments and has expertise related to fuel specification and interchangeability with end-use equipment and processes. Examples include potential impacts of LNG import gas, syngas, biogas, and other opportunity fuels. GTI has expertise in onsite gas clean-up systems that can be used for bio-gas upgrading to bio-methane. GTI has also developed a fast-response gas quality sensor that can be used for a range of industrial and power generation equipment (e.g., gas turbines and gas engines) that may be sensitive to changes in gas composition.
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