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Simons Green Energy launches cogeneration system for Castle Hill RSL

September 22, 2011

Simons Green Energy has launched a state-of-the-art cogeneration system at Castle Hill RSL Club's C2K Aquatic Centre - one of Sydney's largest multi-purpose leisure and activity centres.

Open all year and offers facilities for everyone, ranging from toddlers to fifty plus groups, participating in activities covering swimming to fitness classes to gymnasium activities and fitness training.

The Club identified the need to improve the energy efficiency of their aquatic centre in order to reduce current and projected energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. Simons Green Energy was engaged to design an efficient, low running cost and low maintenance cost, grid parallel cogeneration system that would provide the C2K Aquatic Centre with enough power to cover base load electricity demands while utilising waste heat to provide hot water for all of the Centre's swimming pools, and domestic hot water storage tanks..

The aquatic centre has four indoor pools including a 25 metre pool, an aerobics pool, a program pool and spa pool. All of these pools were previously heated by costly electric heat pumps, while domestic hot water was supplied by gas fired hot water units.

Cogeneration, also known as Combined Heat and Power (CHP), is the simultaneous production of two forms of energy -- electricity and heat from a single fuel source, at the point of usage. Cogeneration uses a natural gas-powered engine to generate the on-site electricity and the waste heat from the engine is captured to provide heating for uses such as potable hot water, space heating and process heat for swimming pools and similar applications.

Designed and installed by Simons Green Energy, the Cogeneration Plant is made up of a SEVA 142 kilowatt (kWe) reciprocating gas engine, a series of heat exchangers and hot water storage tanks. The six cylinder MAN engine will produce 775,320kW of electricity per year which will help reduce energy costs dramatically. The typical pay back period on Cogeneration technology varies between three to six years depending on the application and site specifics.

As a result of Simons Green Energy's highly efficient heat and electricity generation, the new cogeneration plant satisfies 70% of the building's electricity requirements and is cheaper and cleaner than coal-fired grid supplied electricity. The hot water is produced for "free" from the waste heat of the cogeneration plant. The co-generation unit at Castle Hill RSL is technologically advanced and highly efficient at about 85% conversion efficiency compared with 30% efficiency for conventional grid supplied electricity.

The Cogeneration system will reduce the centre's CO2 emissions by approximately 300 tonnes per year. This equals the environmental benefit of saving 30,000 trees, or taking approximately 1,350 cars off the road per year. In addition, it is cost-effective and with escalating electricity prices and the likely introduction of a carbon price, the future savings for the Club will be substantial.

The engineering team from Simons Green Energy worked closely with the Club's staff to ensure a smooth installation without interruption to the operation of Centre. The team also worked closely with Endeavour Energy to satisfy their strict design and installation regulations for connecting on-site power generation to the main power grid.

Commenting on the installation, NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker stated "rising energy bills are a major concern for individuals, businesses and the broader community, and ways to reduce them is a priority for the NSW Government.

"The cogeneration plant ... is an excellent example of how we can implement practical solutions with the available technologies to improve the efficiency of the energy we use.

"It is great to see Castle Hill RSL take on the challengers of balancing energy use with environmentally friendly practices. In doing so they have demonstrated leadership with in the community by showing how it is possible to reduce energy use, cut bills and reduce gas emissions.

"It's a win for the club, the community and the environment"

Energy Efficiency Council Chief Executive Rob Murray-Leach added "cogeneration is a smart way to get much, much more out of fuels. In a typical coal fired generator more than 70% of the enrgy in the fuel is lost in heat.

"With cogeneration, we use that heat in the fuel to provide useful serviced, like heating and cooling. Everyone likes to get more for less."

Details of C2K Cogeneration System:
• System Power 142kWe (electrical) 207kWt (thermal)
• Daily Electrical Output 2,130 kWh 
• Daily Thermal Output 3,105kWh

The Benefits of Cogeneration: 
• Offers financial savings over conventional energy supply 
• Primary energy savings deliver lower energy bills 
• Higher efficiency offers reduced greenhouse gas emissions 
• Greater security of supply and plentiful hot water 
• Flexible procurement options 
• Possible grant funding

Click here to contact Simons Green Energy via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Image shows the launch of C2K's cogeneration system. 

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