At this year's edition of the annual Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany-based Entrade Energiesysteme AG (Entrade) is presenting a further model of the biogenic-waste fueled power plant it has developed in-house. Currently, two versions are available, with a respective electrical output of 25 kW (E3) or 50 kW (E4). These can be combined on the modular cascading principle to form larger units, resulting in biomass power plants of up to 5 MW electrical capacity.
The E3 and the new, more powerful E4 compact power plant – both of which are protected by numerous patents – are based on years of research and development. In a high-temperature gasification reactor, biogenic waste is used as fuel to produce a high-quality synthesis gas, which in turn fuels an internal combustion engine and supplies electricity as well as heat or, if required, cooling.
Operational within two days
According to CEO Julien Uhlig, it is the world’s first modular, series-produced, patented, fully automatic biomass power plant for grid-connected and off-grid power generation. Each individual E4 power plant has a generator output of 50 kWe and a nominal heat output of 120 kWth, and can be put into operation on a turnkey basis within 48 hours.
With a length of 186 cm, a width of 156 cm and a height of only two metres, the individual system modules are particularly compact and can be shipped worldwide using air freight. According to Uhlig, the electric power generated is competitive compared to other conventional or renewable power sources even without subsidies and can be used locally in the stand-alone operation or fed into the public grid.
Cascading and hybrid
The waste heat is used for heating purposes including fuel preparation or can be transformed into cooling. Furthermore, the individual small power plants can be connected to form larger units, resulting in power plants of up to 5 MW. In the last 18 months, more than 150 of these power plants have been planned or commissioned in nine different countries worldwide.
Another focus of the company is to combine various renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind power and biogas into a hybrid grid, thus forming a single power plant unit. Here the advantages of the respective technologies are optimally used in order to exploit the resulting synergies.
Compared to conventional power plants, the E3 and E4 biomass plants have a range of advantages:
- Flexible system sizes in electrical output steps of 25 kW
- Even in the lower output range, the modules have a very high-efficiency level of over 85 percent
- The compact power plants can be set up wherever the energy is needed or residual biomass is available
- As modular plug’n’play units, they do not require long approval procedures and can be connected to the grid within 48 hours
- Due to their modular design, they are highly protected from breakdown and require little maintenance
- Units can be combined with other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy to form a hybrid grid, with the biomass power plant providing the base load and compensating for any fluctuation on the part of other energy sources
- In terms of price, the compact power plants are below usual costs for power plant construction