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Engine Drive Systems: Considerations with Engine Applications - Cost

Operating Cost
The best reason by far to specify natural gas engines in place of electric motors is economics. On a national average, the total operating cost (fuel, operating expenses and maintenance) of a natural gas engine is around half that of an electric motor of the same output. This difference in cost can yield considerable savings over the life of the engine.

Installation Cost
Engine driven equipment can be packaged at the factory or field erected just like its electric counterparts with the final service connections made at the site. The engine equipment site connections include fuel supply, exhaust piping, heat recovery piping, condenser or radiator cooling water piping and whatever the engine driven service might be: chilled water, refrigeration, compressed air, electricity, etc. The installation cost of an engine is not unlike that of electric equipment except that depending on location, first costs associated with ventilation air requirements, sound attenuation and vibration may need to be included. For an accurate comparison, specific design requirements for the electric alternative must be credited to the engine driven equipment. The electric motor typically requires a power source, and larger electric feeders along with the distribution equipment which must be added to the first cost.