Natural Gas for Commercial Purpose
The commercial sector includes public and private enterprises, like offices buildings, schools, hotels, restaurants, hospitals and government buildings. The main uses of natural gas in this sector include captive power generation, space heating, water heating and cooling. For restaurants and other establishments that require cooking facilities, Natural Gas is a popular choice to fulfill these needs. Natural Gas can be used for small gas generators instead of diesel engines for small captive power plant of any size.
Natural Gas is an extremely efficient, economical fuel for heating in all types of commercial buildings. Although space and water heating account for a great deal of Natural Gas use in commercial settings, non-space heating applications are expected to account for the majority of growth in Natural Gas use in those settings. Cooling and cooking represent two major growth areas for the use of natural gas in commercial settings.
There are three types of Natural Gas driven cooling processes.
- Engine driven chillers use a Natural Gas engine, instead of an electric motor, to drive a compressor. With these systems, waste heat from the gas engine can be used for heating applications, increasing energy efficiency.
- The second category of Natural Gas cooling devices consist of what are called absorption chillers, which provide cool air by evaporating a refrigerant like water ammonia. These absorption chillers are best suited to cooling large commercial buildings, like office towers and shopping malls.
- The third type of commercial cooling system consists of gas-based desiccant systems. These systems cool by reducing humidity in the air. Cooling this dry air requires much less energy than it would to cool humid air.
Another area of growth in commercial Natural Gas use is in the food service industry for bulk cooking in the establishments wherever required.
In addition to traditional uses of Natural Gas in the establishments it is used for gas driven generators for captive power plants ranging from minimum to maximum as per requirement.
Heat that is released from Natural Gas powered electricity generators can be harnessed to run space or water heaters or commercial boilers or as vapor absorption chillers. Using this normally wasted energy can dramatically improve energy efficiency.
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