Biomass energy expert Talbotts of the UK has launched one of the most efficient wood-fuelled biomass CHP units. The new BG25 CHP unit is believed to be a world-first, given the innovative way in which the company has incorporated automotive technology in order to ensure continuous operation on a self-sustaining generating cycle.
The company developed the biomass generator in conjunction with the bio-energy team at Harper Adams University College. The system works by burning waste wood, in the form of pellets, in a combustor that generates hot air through a mile and a half of piping – packed into a compact heat exchanger – the hot air from which then powers a turbocharger, more commonly found on Scania trucks.
Whilst much of this heat energy is cycled back through the compressor to charge fresh incoming air and continue to drive the turbocharger, excess energy is captured by a second turbocharger that drives two substantial alternators via a specially designed gearbox.
This self-contained system generates 25 kW of power, achieving unprecedented levels of overall efficiency and promising savings of 212 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
By using rugged automotive components, the unit is highly durable, runs for long periods without significant servicing and can be repaired simply and easily, with parts readily available, says the company.
In addition to electricity generation, the BG25 provides a source of local heating to the location receiving power.
Talbotts’ managing director, Paul Firth, comments: ‘The size of the CHP installation can power a hotel, large house, farm or modest industrial complex, but we are aiming to build units with significantly greater output, based on this technology.’
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