Italian company Turboden Srl is to supply an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine for a new wood pellet manufacturing plant being developed in the UK by LandEnergy.
The machine will be used in a wood-fired CHP plant designed by Gammel Engineering to supply energy to one of LandEnergy’s wood pellet production factories.
The facility will supply some 9 MWth and 2 MWe to the plant, which is expected to produce around 55,000 tonnes of pellets annually. Most of the power will be used on-site, though the facility will deliver excess electrical capacity to the grid.
Forestry residues and arboricultural arisings will be used as feedstock for the boiler, which will heat a special thermal oil instead of water vapour. According to Turboden, the use of the organic fluid offers superior electrical performance and several mechanical advantages, including slower rotation of the turbine at about 3000 rpm, lower pressure and no erosion of the metallic parts and blades. The unit is expected to be on-line in around 12 months.
LandEnergy says it has plans for the development of additional CHP plants in the UK, depending on market conditions and heat demand, and is particularly keen to expand use of forestry residues in such applications.
‘We believe that an increase in the number of ORC applications in distributed energy could play a significant role in the reduction of greenhouse gas generation by promoting greater industrial use of renewable energies’, says Mario Gaia, Turboden founder.