PEOPLE IN POWER: Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis, an Aegis Research and Development Mechanical Engineer, spends his day envisioning the future of CHP.
“Fundamentally, I design, build, and test mechanical and control systems for Aegis,” said Lewis. “In the bigger picture, I look at current and future technologies and market opportunities to improve what we do.”
Forward thinking, planning, and development of new Combined Heat and Power system capabilities ensure Aegis customers are getting optimum results from their energy-saving solutions.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient, clean, and reliable technology, which simultaneously generates electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source. Aegis manufactures and installs modular systems to reduce both energy costs and emissions for a variety of facilities, from healthcare and assisted living facilities, to recreational and multi-residential complexes, and hotels. There are also institutional, educational, and industrial facility applications.
Included in its hundreds of CHP installations and maintenance projects are the EPA award-winning installation at the National Archives and Records Administration, the AAA- 4 Diamond Saybrook Point Inn and Spa in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and multiple installations at the renowned Tudor City in New York.
As Lewis will tell you, even with that track record there is always room for improvement.
“I am in the process of developing and testing new powertrain solutions that will increase the net output of the system while reducing emissions and operating expenses,” he said. “Also, my team is currently working on a state-of-the-art monitoring and control platform, which significantly improves our ability to operate sites remotely.”
The new platform would bring a higher level of recognition as to how a CHP site is performing while also being able to remotely and automatically optimize the efficiency of the cogeneration equipment.
“These technologies work towards the ultimate goal of a cogeneration system operator, which is to keep the system performing at peak performance 100% of the time,” said Lewis. “It will also offer transparency to the customer so they quantifiably know what value the system is providing.”
Lewis’ education is in the field of wind power and his previous work experience had him designing industrial processes and facilities, skill sets he has transferred to his advocacy for CHP.
“Traditional power generation methods are mature, their fuel source is undervalued, and their impacts are not properly accounted for,” he said. “In order to compete you must work hard and smart, but if you are successful you have the potential of providing better sources of energy for the same or lower cost.”