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Maintenance Costs

I’m trying to weigh the costs and benefits of using distributed generation as a primary power source, but I’m not finding any numbers for maintenance costs. Can anyone give me cost estimates for maintenance of various sizes of natural gas fired piston engine running 80 to 90% of the year?


Is the per-kWh maintenance cost much lower for larger generators?


Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,

Posts: 75
Topics: 6
Kudos: 12
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Registered: ‎12-22-2008

Re: Maintenance Costs

Depends on the engine... I have a g3520 running on a landfill which takes a lot more maintenance then our 3516's or 3616's Also need to know what engine you want to use for your DG system. With a 80-90% run time it sounds like your going to baseload  the unit. Be advised this will greatly reduce life cycles and increase your maintenance cost. If you are looking at running this much there are better machines to do it with then a Cat.



P.S. I do not work for Cat or any Cat dealer. I do manage over 150Mws of DG units for a municpal utility.....


Re: Maintenance Costs

Yes it depends on the engine, concering fuel quainty & quaility, and the KW output goal / requirements. We run multiple brands of engines in Landfill Gas applications accross the country, and the Caterpillar G3520C is our most Frequently used engine! Due to the reliabilty and the ease of parts availbilty. our long term operation of mulitple G3520 has proven to avarge $0.008 to $0.007 /eKW-hr. This is the same at all of our plants across the country.
Robert McConnell SCS Energy National Caterpillar Maintenance manager

Re: Maintenance Costs

Hello rmcconnell,


What are the other brands of engines that you operate. Do you operate any jenbachers

Posts: 29
Topics: 1
Kudos: 3
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Registered: ‎12-04-2008

Re: Maintenance Costs



Maintenance cost for running a Gas Engine over period of 5 years will be in range of .003 to .006 US$/ekwh (variation is due to in between ovehauls)

New member

Re: Maintenance Costs

The EPA "Catalog of CHP Technologies" gives some reasonable numbers for a variety of DG technologies. http://www.epa.gov/chp/basic/catalog.html