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The Diesel Generator: Pollution, Policies and Compliance

According to a 2018 WHO report, 14 of the worlds 15 most polluted cities are in India.

As the winter commences in North India, National Capital Region gets a lot of news coverage about the rising pollution levels. Industrial clusters in the area are a major hub of pollution which lacks awareness and has most enforcement issues.

As a short-term solution for the winter pollution months, the supreme court of india put a ban on the diesel generators starting in 2017. The Supreme Court-appointed Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) enforces this ban on the use of diesel generators in the National Capital Region starting October 15 and is expected to last until March 15 of every year, along with the deployment of other measures, as per the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). This ban is seen imperative by the EPCA for lowering the air pollution in Delhi, as the trans-boundary movement of pollutants from neighboring NCR cities has been found to adversely impact air quality in the capital.

DG set Emission Norms reform by NCAP 2019

The National Clear Air Program (NCAP 2019) by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has a lofty goal of tackling air pollution and bringing down the concentration of particulate matter by 30% by 2024. The NCAP identified that 18% of city pollution is contributed to stationary diesel generators, thus encouraging state governments to adopt policies to completely phase out generators run only on diesel fuel, not just limiting the ban the winter months.

Before NCAP, the Central Pollution control board had notified various emission norms for manufacturers of diesel generators having some policies in place for new DGs. However, there was no regulation for generators in-use after commissioning (except the 800 KW and above category). 91% of DG Sets have no regulations beyond the point of manufacture. Studies show that as DG Sets get older, they might emit 11 times the standards set for the manufacturers. Overall, DG Sets contribute to 7-18% to the ambient air pollution in non-attainment cities.

To address the emissions for older generators, the Ministry proposed to formulate a notification on control of pollution from diesel generators in-use to include control and mitigation measures related to these generators. In these mitigation measure, users would be required to

  • Shift to gas-based generators either by retrofitting existing generators for partial usage of gas (a mixture of diesel and gas) or buying new gas-based generators

  • Use retro-fitted emission control equipment with diesel generators having a minimum specified particulate matter capturing efficiency of at least 70%. This would be the lower cost solution to consumers with a cost less than 10% of the generator set.

NGT Order 681/ 2018

NGT Order 681/ 2018 promoted the agenda of the NCAP 2019 and encouraged all state control boards to cover DG regulations in their action plans. The order reiterates the option of shifting to gas-based generators by employing new gas-based generators or retrofitting the existing DG sets for partial gas usage.

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board was the first in the country to act on it, soon followed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

HSPCB released an order in 5 cities– Faridabad, Gurgaon, Sonipat, Panipat and bahadurgargh on June 25 2020. All industries with the capacity of 500 kVA and above were given a 3 month timeline to convert or retrofit their Diesel generators. The HSPCB issued an extension was issued on 28th of September for another 3 months because of the lengthy process of obtaining gas line and installing a new or retrofitted system.

Comply: Retrofit to Dual Fuel

Complying to these guidelines requires investment. Retrofitting your dg with a dual fuel technology is the most efficient solution which not only helps you comply with the order and reduce your emissions but it also has an attractive return on investment.

This novel, innovative, patented system, which requires no modification to the internal components of the engine, allows for operation on natural gas up to a maximum of 70%* of the fuel required to maintain the desired speed and load. Reduced fuel costs and extended runtime are just a few of the benefits of Bi-Fuel operation.

  • Converts industrial diesel engines to Bi-Fuel operation by substituting up to 70% natural gas for diesel fuel

  • Save on operating fuel costs by using natural gas with return to 100% diesel operation at any time

  • Allows the use of available or interruptible gas supplies

  • No modification to internal engine components is required

  • Cleaner burning natural gas reduces exhaust emissions (NOx by 60%, CO2 by 10%)

  • Reduces requirements for on-site fuel storage

Dual Fuel Generators provide the perfect solution to consumers, who now can utilise their existing capital intensive asset (DG), at the same time lowering emissions and operating fuel costs.

Contact Energeia to convert your diesel generators to natural gas hybrids today

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