(South Gate, CA, November 30, 2017) – Techni-Cast Corp., a foundry and machined products firm in South Gate, California, shaved its energy bills by generating power onsite with a natural gas-fueled co-generation system that “recycles” waste heat and meets some of the toughest exhaust emissions limits in the U.S.
Even with today’s high natural gas prices, the project saves the company about 33 percent on electricity, according to President Bryn Van Hiel. A key challenge in the Techni-Cast cogeneration project was meeting the strict emissions control requirements of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), an area that includes Los Angeles. Techni-Cast found innovative ways to meet and sometimes exceed these requirements without jeopardizing bottom-line co-generation savings, Van Hiel said.
Van Hiel, a mechanical engineer, developed the Techni-Cast co-generation system after the California energy crisis of 2000–2001, when “rolling blackouts” and utility rate hikes rocked the Golden State industry. “During the three to four years after 9-11, business took a dive. If we hadn’t put in a generator, I don’t know if we’d be alive today,” Van Hiel said.
The Techni-Cast engine, generator, ductwork, and emissions control system are housed in a 45’ x 8’ x 8’ structure. The company’s cogeneration emissions control system cuts NOx by more than 90 percent and reduces other regulated air pollutants to less than five parts per million.
Techni-Cast now produces about 82 percent of the electricity it uses, and has cut energy requirements both through its use of exhaust gas for metal preheating and generator jacket water for air conditioning. Plus, when commercial customers combine co-gen with “energy recycling” measures, as Techni-Cast has done, the local utility, Southern California Edison (SoCal Edison), exempts them from certain fees for ten years. Techni-Cast is now in its fourth year of exemption.
“Even with the high gas prices, we’re producing electricity for a little less than 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. If we were buying utility electricity, it would cost 16 to 17 cents per kilowatt-hour. So our net cost is still a third less than what we were paying before we made the change,” Van Hiel said.
Beyond the bankable benefits, Techni-Cast’s effective use of electricity has brought it national recognition. In 2002, Techni-Cast was awarded the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Electrical Excellence Award. Techni-Cast is the only centrifugal foundry on the West Coast. Techni-Cast employs 100 people and has a long history in Southern California. Van Hiel’s father started the company in 1950 and it was re-named Techni-Cast in 1954. It has been in its present location in South Gate since 1972.
For more information, please visit: http://Techni-cast.com