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Stellar Energy News

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September 23, 2008
Stellar Energy to Develop Renewable Energy Solutions for Food And Beverage Market

Stellar Energy, a leading global energy systems company, is now developing modular renewable energy systems that will convert waste to energy. Stellar Energy will construct the systems at its prefabrication facility in Jacksonville, Fla. 

While gaining popularity in the waste and landfill industries, renewable energy is also starting to take hold in food and beverage production plants. These plants produce organic waste such as animal waste from meat processing facilities and food waste from food processing plants. Instead of traditional waste management and disposal methods, the new systems enable this waste to be converted into energy. 

Food and beverage manufacturers are always looking to improve material utilization, reduce waste and improve energy efficiency. However, it's not always possible to use everything, and these materials continue to expand waste streams and pose greater risks to the environment. A biogas to electricity system can meet these issues head-on, has definite payback opportunities, and produces recoverable energy output. 

For example, landfill sites generate biogases (mostly consisting of methane) as the waste buried in them undergoes the natural process of anaerobic digestion, or the breakdown of organic material in the absence of oxygen. If this gas is not harvested (through a renewable energy system such as Stellar Energy's), it escapes into the atmosphere and can be 20 times more potent and harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. Pending U.S. legislation (both federal and state) and international protocols, such as the Kyoto Protocol, will soon dictate more restrictive emission rates and expanded renewable energy requirements for manufacturers and other producers, who will see the financial impact of these climate change policies if they do not implement renewable solutions. These financial impacts include higher energy and waste disposal costs as well as growing consumer awareness of whether or not a company has "green" energy programs. 

To transform waste into energy, the waste must be pre-treated, separated and stored in enclosed tanks (called anaerobic digesters) that decompose and break down organic matter by excluding oxygen (this process is called anaerobic digestion), thus producing a biogas. The biogas is then combusted (burned) in an engine to generate electricity, heating and cooling. The electricity produced through this process can be used by the manufacturer (as well as the heating and cooling), sold to a nearby facility or redistributed to a nearby electrical grid. Stellar Energy will work closely with food and beverage manufacturers to design, supply and install these biogas renewable energy systems. 

In addition to lowering overall energy costs and generating additional income through the sale of the excess electricity or thermal energy produced, these systems support sustainability initiatives, offer alternatives to waste reduction and lower greenhouse gas emissions. They also offer an efficient and safe way to destroy pathogens and eliminate odors that can sometimes negatively affect a community. 

The new biogas systems are modular - instead of building the systems on-site, they are constructed and engineered at Stellar Energy's 60,000-square-foot fabrication facility in Jacksonville, Fla., and then transported to the site. Modular products enable greater flexibility, consistent high-quality standards, compressed project schedules and long-term reliability. The modular systems will be pre-tested before arriving onsite, thus minimizing site impact during installation and commissioning. A shortened construction schedule enables opportunities for lower project cost. Stellar offers a range of modular products, including modular chiller plants, which are energy plants that provide cold water for air conditioning. 

Stellar Energy has assembled a comprehensive team to offer the biogas systems. Stellar will provide design, construction and project management services, self-performing all work in its fabrication shop for modules that contain control systems, cogeneration equipment, compressors, flares and electrical equipment. Stellar will rely on partners for specialized services: Caterpillar (www.cat.com) will serve as the key equipment supplier for the electric power generation, providing the gas engine generator set products, generator control and paralleling switchgear, 24-hour emergency repair and comprehensive preventative maintenance programs. And, Energenic (www.energenic-us.com) will provide third-party ownership and operations management, specialty metering and engineering services for feasibility analysis.

 

About Stellar Energy

Stellar Energy is a global leader in the design, construction, fabrication, installation, operations, maintenance and servicing of a range of energy systems, including turbine inlet air chilling (TIAC) systems, district cooling plants, modular utility plants and field-erected utility plants. The company's experience spans more than 20 years and stretches across the globe, with offices in the United States, China, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. For more information, visit www.stellar-energy.net.

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