What is a Biomass Generation Plant?
Biomass fueled electricity generation has been in operation globally for years. In Northern Europe, utilizing available forest waste wood and un-merchantable timber as fuel for generation plants has been in practice for decades. In North America, waste wood from timber mills has been successfully utilized to supply electricity in numerous circumstances, and otherwise goes to waste. Typical electricity output size for a generator using biomass as fuel ranges from as low as 1MW and range up to 25MW. Larger plant sizes usually result in superior turbine operating efficiencies, resulting in lower costs for electricity. Properly configured, an ORC biomass generation plant can operate close to 100% of the time, with availability averaging greater than 98%. Mitigokaa proposes to develop all of its ‘island’ generation facilities using ORC technology.
A basic biomass generation plant consists of three distinct segments or operating islands, shown in the high level diagram below:
- The Biomass Fuel Collection and Handling Unit - where fuel is collected, processed (chipped) and then readied for automatic delivery to the Heat Generation island, using a gravity fed auger.
- The Heat Generation Island - the fuel is efficiently combusted creating a great amount of usable heat, which is then transferred to an entirely enclosed loop of thermal fluid in the generator island.
- The Turbine and Generator Unit - heat is used to drive a working fluid, (both in liquid and gaseous state, also in an enclosed loop), through a turbine. This fluid vaporizes, at 165 times the liquid state volume, creating pressure to drive the turbine which turns the generator, creating energy.
A major benefit to any plant of this nature is that any surplus heat can be used in a variety of additional applications to benefit a community including:
- Greenhouse heating for food cultivation