Background on Tier 4 Final EPA Emission Regulations for Power Generation
Stationary diesel engines are used by a variety of facilities. These include data centers, hospitals, retailers and more. The reasons these organizations choose to invest in a generator may vary. Examples of use may include standby power, base-load power or built-in redundancy for critical assets. These generators can protect crucial operations during power outages.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulation guidelines in place for stationary diesel engines. The reason was to mitigate the air quality impact of these power generation sources. Beginning in 1996, the agency enforced a series of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) known as tiers. These tiers progressively strengthened restrictions on emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC). The current emission regulations in 2019 are Tier 4 Final.
Tier 4 Final is the strictest of the EPA emission requirements on stationary diesel engines today. In comparison to previous tier levels. Tier 4 Final standards result in an exhaust emission reduction of up to 99%. Engines that meet these stringent standards promote cleaner air, improved fuel efficiency and higher performance.
The need for Tier 4 Final
We now understand why a newly installed stationary diesel engine must be certified to EPA Tier 4 Final standards if it is used in a non-emergency application.
That being said, the reasons for selecting a Tier 4 Final engine for power generation extend beyond just the regulatory requirements. Users will see a significant impact on their bottom line with enhanced productivity and uptime and lowered maintenance costs. Volvo Penta customer PowerSecure recently published a report about the power of EPA Tier 4 stationary engines. It cites that “a scalable generator keeps capital requirements low, provides room for future growth and ensures a reliable and easily maintainable system.”
The technology of choice behind Volvo Penta’s Tier 4 Final solution for diesel engines is Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). This technology has been thoroughly proven in other diesel applications from across Volvo Group. Volvo Penta opted to keep the solution simple with only two parts instead of complex installations. Those parts are SCR and light EGR. Installation becomes easier and lends to less risk of part failure of system malfunction because less components are used.
Tier 4 certification is required for any non-emergency engine manufactured in 2011 or later. Under the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Subpart III (40 CFR Oart 60), EPA regulations require that all non-emergency engines manufactured after 2015 are Tier 4 Final certified.
It is imperative to understand that engines must be Tier 4 Final certified and not simply Tier 4 Final compliant. Compliant engines that may meet the emissions standards under the NSPS – but are not EPA certified – are not in compliance with the regulation. Meeting Tier 4 standards is of the utmost important to Volvo Penta.
The catalytic converter is designed to last the life of the engine with SCR. This reduces costs for maintenance and downtime. Volvo Penta’s Tier 4 Final solution offers unsurpassed fuel efficiency. The rigorously tested engine system meets both the demanding Tier 4 Final environmental emission reduction requirements through use of proven, smart technology. It also improves fuel efficiency by up to 5%.
In addition, the need for large, expensive and high-maintenance diesel particulate filters (DPF) and diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) subsystems are eliminated. This removes the lengthy process of regeneration.
One benefit of stationary Tier 4 Final engines is the ability to quickly attain full horsepower. Diesel engines rotating mass and power output deliver the ability to handle loads faster than natural gas engines. They can provide full power within 7 to 8 seconds. Those precious seconds can help prevent voltage drop and other issues that could severely damage mission critical operations.
Volvo Penta designed its Tier 4 Final power generation solution for maximized power output. The combination of the Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology and the SCR system turns more fuel energy into mechanical power. This leads to less heat rejection which ultimately means that the power output can be maximized for any given engine displacement. The end result is smaller engine sizes, lowered costs and simpler installation.
Because Tier 4 Final diesel engines and generators can run in parallel, the redundant nature of multiple power blocks helps the reliability of the system. There is always a backup unlike large, single-engine options.
Why you should consider Volvo Penta’s diesel engine solution for power generation
Volvo Penta offers power generation solutions for both prime power and standby power. The company’s genset engines are constructed to fit a wide range of power generation setups.
The systems are designed for the most demanding needs thinkable. The company’s main focus is to keep your business running at full capacity. We strive to ensure versatility and reliability in our genset engines, maximizing uptime and reliability.
In addition to all of the technology benefits mentioned above, it’s important to note that Volvo Penta is an independent supplier of diesel engines. The company is not in the business of building gensets. This means the company does not compete with its partners who are selling gensets to the market. We focus optimizing functionality of the diesel engines so that partners can focus on their own bottom line.