For many larger facilities, the use of digester gas-fueled CHP has the potential to offset energy consumption by 30 to 100%, according to Jason Wiser, project manager and co-author of a recent study, ‘Evaluation of Combined Heat and Power Technologies for Wastewater Facilities’.
Wiser and fellow Brown & Caldwell engineers Jim Schettler and John Willis wrote the report for the Columbus Water Works of Georgia with funding provided by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The interim report examines commonly used and emerging CHP technologies for converting anaerobic digester gas to electrical power and process heat.
Wiser says the overarching message of the report is that wastewater treatment facilities are consumers of electricity, but if they are configured correctly and they include anaerobic digestion, they can become producers of energy.
The overall percentage of energy recovery possible is influenced by a combination of factors including the effectiveness of the digestion process, the efficiency of the CHP system, the type of treatment processes and the efficiency of the liquid stream treatment.
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