A 20 MW biomass-powered CHP station in Emden, Germany, has specified a totally-enclosed, air-supported conveyor system to feed its new woodchip-fired block, achieving exceptional control of fugitive materials in the strong winds common to its North Sea location.
Owned by BKE and managed by Statkraft Markets Nord-West, the facility’s new conveyor installation has proven successful enough to comply with strict dust control specifications and prevent nuisance dust from accumulating on new automobiles in nearby transit lots.
The facility converts 130,000 tonnes of biomass into energy each year, with the conveyor transporting 110-120 tonnes per hour.
Company officials knew they needed a conveyor with a relatively long span to transport bulk material 167 metres from the ship unloading facility to two storage silos.
In addition, because of the proximity to the sea, corrosion protection was essential to the conveyor system’s durability. The system would be expected to operate for extended periods with very little maintenance, preventing the escape or build-up of fugitive material and also protecting the load from rain that would introduce unwanted moisture to the fuel.
The company specified a lightweight conveyor design from Martin Engineering.
The air-supported conveyor is a simple and economical system that resolves many of the issues encountered with conventional belt conveyors. It employs a film of air rising from a troughed pan to lift the belt.
By removing a source of friction and the need for periodic maintenance, air-supported designs can offer significant advantages, including energy, environmental and safety benefits, says Martin Engineering.
The Emden plant reports extremely low maintenance service from the air-supported design. The conveyor has exceeded the company’s 98% operational requirement.