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Contact: Christine Payton Oct. 22, 2007
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu

A $1 million Saturn diesel turbine generator was donated to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette College of Engineering by Solar Turbines.

This turbine generator is capable of producing 700 KW of power, enough to power about 700 homes. The new equipment positions UL Lafayette's engineering program with a developmental capability not found at many colleges. The equipment will be used in conjunction with other donated equipment to form the cornerstone for a fast-growing alternative energy research focus within the College of Engineering.

The turbine unit, along with an electrical generator is permanently mounted within a tractor trailer that is fully transportable. The initial plan for the unit is to conduct research using the waste heat released from the turbine along with an absorption chiller and cooling tower for generating electricity and/or providing air conditioning.

The new equipment will be utilized by several faculty members working with regional industries to further entrench the Acadiana Region as a leader in energy management. For example, work is on-going involving the use of biodiesel, a renewable fuel made from vegetable oil, to power the unit.

The goal of this work is to assess economic and technical benefits derived through the use of this innovative biofuel. Other related work includes the use of the Solar turbine and generator system in conjunction with Combined Heating and Power Process or CHP. The CHP process is being used by companies across the nation to reduce energy costs by first generating electricity and then using the waste heat to provide cooling or heating for buildings and other applications.

A dedication ceremony was held Oct. 19 with representatives from Solar Turbines and UL Lafayette including faculty and university administrators.

Solar Turbines has an office located on Ambassador Caffrey in Lafayette. The corporate headquarters is located in San Diego. The company services many industries including the oil and gas industry. Solar Turbines is owned by Caterpillar.


Document last revised Monday, October 22, 2007 10:49 AM

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