MERRILLVILLE, IN — NiSource Energy Technologies, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc., has announced the installation of a combined heat and power distributed generation system at the Hilton Garden Inn in Chesterton, IN. The installation of this technology is the first step of a larger Department of Energy (DOE) award to develop a modular-packaged Integrated Energy System (IES) for the hotel/motel market.

Combined heat and power packages, also referred to as cogeneration, provide increased energy efficiency over traditional electric production and also provide customers with energy flexibility. The systems generate heat and electricity simultaneously at the site of use and increase efficiency by using the waste heat created in the production of electricity for productive purposes.

“This technology provides energy choice and value as distributed generation systems offer customers greater flexibility with their energy management,” said Mark Wyckoff, president of NiSource Energy Technologies. “If the pricing makes more sense, customers may elect to stay connected to the electric grid and use the distributed generation system to protect critical loads. The big gain for the customer in optimizing the building’s design to meet its energy requirements is the enhanced energy efficiency created through the integration of the facility with its electrical, heating, and cooling applications.”

The IES, which will generate electricity for the hotel, will initially include three microturbines, heat recovery heat exchangers, and a control system. The waste heat will be utilized to supplement heat for the water supply, spa, and swimming pool as well as provide space heat for the hotel’s common areas. The microturbines, housed in a separate building on the hotel’s property, currently generate approximately one-third of the four-story hotel’s electrical peak demand load requirement.

As part of the three-year development process, additional equipment and functions including a fuel cell, solar cells, an absorption chiller, a desiccant unit, and advanced energy controls will be added.

Publication date: 08/19/2002