Power regulators in many jurisdictions forbid private power lines from being connected across property lines. This prohibition has discouraged investment in Distributed Generation (DG) systems that are more efficient, less expensive than supplies from the grid.
New technological advances have been developed in the field of small scale, on-site distributed power generation(DG). The cost of small-scale power generation technology has been steadily dropping, while the efficiency of energy conversion has steadily been rising. Advances have occurred in such areas as solar thermal energy conversion, solar photovoltaics, wind energy, fuel cell technology, thermo-acoustic engine technology, Stirling engine technology and various types of small engines (click “more” for rest of article).
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New types of small gas turbine engines of under 100-Kw output that can operate on a wide variety of fuels have appeared. Some of these new turbine engines use turbine blades made from high-temperature ceramics such as silicon-nitride and silicon carbide that allow these engines to operate at higher combustion temperatures and at higher thermal efficiency. On-site power generation is appearing in privately owned off-grid homes as well as at commercial and industrial locations. As far back as the mid-1990’s, a few commercial power users have installed natural gas powered truck engines (up to 300-Kw) on their premises to generate power and supply heat during winter (co-generation).