Saxlund International Limited

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Biomass Combustion

Biomass Combustion

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Case Study- Falköping Falbygdens Energi


While the idea of small-scale biomass energy solutions in the 2 to 5MW energy range to provide Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is just starting to catch on in the UK, in mainland Europe, especially Scandinavia, the technology already plays a considerable role in delivering secure, affordable, green energy.

Falkoping Biomass ORC

The technology is mature and advancing all the time, power plants are highly efficient, and biomass fuel sources including forestry residues, waste wood and virgin timber are plentiful.

 

With a full year’s successful operation already behind them, the new CHP plant in Falköping, Sweden, commissioned by Falbygdens Energi from Saxlund International, is a typical example.

 

Marjarp 2 supplies district heating and electricity, producing 2.4 MW of electricity and 10 MW of district heating, from locally sourced and sustainable forestry including bark and other forest residues as well as virgin timber. And, like all CHP cogeneration plants, the aim is to capture waste heat to increase the overall efficiency of the installation - in most cases this means piping the heat for nearby domestic or industrial heating.

 

Importantly, it is the first power plant in Scandinavia to use hot oil Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology for electricity production, as opposed to conventional and more complex high pressure steam systems. This means that engineering costs to deal with traditional pressurized systems can be reduced and overall it is a more cost effective option.

 

Matt Drew, Managing Director of Saxlund International believes technology like this and the fact that CHP plants of this size are also much quicker to realise, will help to drive opportunities in the UK. “Financing for the new plant in Falköping, for example, was completed in 2011 and some 18 months later we were already operational and testing. Of course there is more confidence in the Scandinavian market for biomass and CHP but, none-the-less, that is substantially quicker than other large power stations where investment and risk have been bigger hurdles to success”.

 

Prior to the construction of the new plant, Falbygdens Energi relied heavily on expensive bio-oil fuel for energy production, but a feasibility study showed that it would make economic sense in the long term to build a completely new cogeneration plant using ORC technology. Lars Ohlson, CEO, Falbygdens Energi explains: “The main reason for the investment was that we wanted to generate electricity. And we still believe it is cheaper with a hot-oil boiler than a traditional plant with a steam boiler.  By investing in small scale bioenergy CHP we can keep security of delivery high, while giving our customers in Falköping eco-labelled energy.”

 

The plant is built with advanced technology from Saxlund International, part of Opcon the international energy and environmental group. The team was responsible for all aspects of the turn-key project, from design, construction and commissioning - delivering a biomass power solution that is robust, reliable and almost maintenance free, with minimal staffing.

 

Key elements provided by Saxlund include the biomass furnace, fuel and ash handling systems, thermal oil system and ORC unit, as well as advanced flue gas treatment and condensation equipment.  The flue gas condenser recovers energy from exhaust gases while a wet electrostatic precipitator removes particulates and ash. The result is a clean-burn, highly efficient power station, with low levels of energy use and very low emissions - importantly CO2 neutral.

First major performance tests for the plant have been extremely positive, and in its first year of operation, Marjarp 2 produced some 80 GWh of heating and 16 GWh of electricity.

 

“In the UK CHP at this scale remains an untapped opportunity, but waste wood fuel and forestry residues are plentiful and the urban density is there to suit district heating projects. The government Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) also helps and combining the generation of electricity with production of district heating in this way is now a real opportunity. The good news is that we have already built similar projects in the UK and are discussing solutions similar to and smaller than Marjarp 2 which will be especially attractive to on-site industrial heat centres as well as energy producers in the UK,” Matt Drew concluded.



Customer: Falbygdens Energi, Sweden.

 

Project: Biomass CHP clean-burn power station with Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology

 

Location: Falköping, Sweden

 

Output: 2.4MW electricity and 10 MW district heating

 

Project Value: SEK 85 million