Biomass cogeneration

Biomass is an extremely important renewable energy source, available nearly everywhere. It can be stored for a long time and often it is economically viable. Biomass is utilized in the best way in Combined Heat and Power plants. In particular the energy obtained is maximized in small power systems (from a few hundred kW electric to one or two MW electric), built near the heat consumer.

How it works (video)

Advantages of Organic Rankine Cycle in Biomass Applications

Compared to competing technologies, the main advantages obtained with ORC technology are:

  • High cycle efficiency (especially if used in cogeneration plants)
  • Very high turbine efficiency (up to 90%)
  • Low mechanical stress of the turbine, due to low peripheral speed
  • Low RPM of the turbine allowing the direct drive of the electric generator without reduction gear
  • No erosion of the turbine blades, due to the absence of the moisture in the vapour nozzles
  • Very long operational life of the machine due to the characteristics of the working fluid, that unlike steam is non eroding and non corroding for valve seats tubing and turbine blades
  • No water treatment system is necessary

There are also other advantages, such as simple start-stop procedures, quiet operation, minimum maintenance requirements and good partial load performance.

Our Experience

Since 1998, we have developed and produced more than 220 biomass plants all over the world. Nowadays around 200 plants are in operation, especially in Italy, Germany and Austria, and they are maintained by our After Sales Department. The power of Turboden units in this application generally ranges between 200 kW and 15 MW electric.
You can find a detailed list of our biomass cogeneration units in the References section.

Biomass fuels

The most common fuels used for the cogeneration process are:

  • Wood Biomass, such as sawdust, chips, bark and treated wood
  • Other Biomass, such as straw, rice husks and bio-sludge
  • High organic content waste

Thermal uses

In cogeneration plants, the ORC unit produces electricity and hot water. The hot water can be used for many purposes, including:

  • Wood drying processes in sawmills or sawdust drying processes for the production of pellets
  • Air pre-heating for the production of MDF / OSB panels
  • District heating networks
  • Refrigeration

Is it suitable for you?

Typical customers for Turboden ORC units are:

  • Local utilities feeding district heating
  • Large sawmills
  • Pellet manufacturing companies
  • Manufacturers of MDF / OSB panels
  • Greenhouses
  • Wine industries

The power range of the offered plants varies from 200 kWel to 15 MWel; you can see our standard products for biomass cogeneration in the Products section.

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