GE (NYSE: GE) today announced it has agreed on an important milestone of a three-year, $50 million project with Gruppo AB, a European combined heat and power (CHP) project developer, to supply an innovative combination offor agricultural biogas projects throughout Europe.
“The acquisition of waste-heat recovery technology from Calnetix Power Solutions enabled GE to work together with great companies like Gruppo AB to provide innovative solutions for customers, helping to meet increased demand for power and efficiency while at the same time meeting increasingly rigorous environmental regulations,” said Rafael Santana, president and CEO—Gas Engines for GE Energy.
The project marks the largest deal for a packaged solution featuring GE’s Jenbacher biogas engines and the Clean Cycle technology since. More and more agricultural facilities seek to install modern CHP systems to support the European Union’s 20/20/20 initiative to generate 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.
“Combined heat and power is our core business, and our long relationship with GE is important to our success. The combination of GE’s innovative and reliable Jenbacher gas engines and Clean Cycle waste-heat recovery modules provides us with the advanced technology and expertise to offer our agricultural customers specifically, but in general for all biogas applications, the advanced solution to meet their needs while reducing the impact on the environment. That is a win for everyone,” said Angelo Baronchelli, founder of Gruppo AB.
For theagricultural CHP (or cogeneration) project, Gruppo AB will combine the Clean Cycle modules with Jenbacher gas engines, with each package able to generate up to 999 kilowatts (kW) of electrical power and 402 kW in thermal power. The output of the integrated system was intentionally kept under 1 megawatt (MW) because the highest feed-in tariffs in Italy are for power projects that produce less than 1 MW. This allows agricultural groups using the packaged solution to make the most use of the tariffs.
Combining GE’s Jenbacher gas engines with GE’s 125 kW Clean Cycle waste-heat recovery solution provides a powerful package that results in up to a 10 percent increase in electrical output and up to a 10 percent reduction in the biomass required for biogas CHP. The new package also achieves a lower NO level of 450 mg/Nm and CO of 500 mg/Nm. The primary source of fuel for the new package is biogas, out of pig and cow manure, corn and other crops. Increasing the energy efficiency of biogas projects helps make biogas power projects more cost-effective. The Clean Cycle system converts excess heat into additional electricity. The electricity generated from the package can be utilized for treatment plants and supplied to the public power grid.
Founded in 1981 by Angelo Baronchelli, the AB industrial Group operates in the fields of cogeneration and the promotion of renewable energy sources. The Gruppo AB is one of the European benchmark companies with modular solutions for outdoors and stations from 100 to 10,000 kWe. Gruppo AB is headquartered in Orzinuovi (Italy) and also is present in Spain, Romania, Poland, Serbia and Croatia. More than 500 plants have been built to date, amounting to 800 MWe of installed power; more than 300 of those plants are under service contracts or directly operated. In just four years, production capacity has increased threefold and the number of employees has grown to more than 350.