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Turboden reflects over 300th biomass ORC milestone

In March this year, Italy-headed Turboden S.r.L., a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and developer of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators for distributed power generation, announced that it received an order for a 5.5 MWe power-only unit from AGT A.Ş., a Turkey-based wood-based panel and furniture component manufacturer. According to Turboden it also represented the 300th biomass ORC order.

A Turboden 1.4 MWe ORC installed at an integrated sawmill, pellet plant and combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

Reflecting on the 300th milestone, Paolo Bertuzzi, Managing Director and CEO at Turboden S.p.A., notes that Turboden confirms itself as a leading technology supplier in the biomass to energy market. The 300 installations, of which 35 are currently under construction and/or commissioning, represent over 397 MW of total installed electrical capacity.

From the first 300 kWe unit sold in Switzerland to the latest 5 MWe plant sold in Turkey for AGT, Turboden gets ahead, developing flexible, cost-efficient and economically profitable solutions for its customers, commented Bertuzzi.

Bertuzzi notes a few highlights and trends since the company’s first biomass ORC installation in 1999:

  • Larger sizes: up to 12 MWe in operation and even larger coming soon;
  • Global presence: biomass ORC’s installed in 40 countries;
  • Innovative approach: implementation of island mode operation providing electric power in areas where the electricity system is not stable and the direct heat exchange system thus avoiding the heat transfer media, which allows to reduce the investment cost and to improve the ORC performances;
  • Flexibility: various types of biomass used including sawmill residues, bark, olive pomace and pits, rice husks to mention a few, thanks to the collaboration with several technological advanced boiler suppliers and the possibility to receive either thermal oil and/or saturated steam.

Full steam ahead

Looking ahead we have the ambition not only to maintain but also to increase our leadership in this Biomass CHP market, emphasizing the advantages of ORC solutions versus steam – no need of water for the cooling system and for the process, automatic operations, high efficiency also at partial load, and many others, stated Bertuzzi.

That said, Bertuzzi highlighted that there are opportunities in the steam-based cogeneration market alluding to the company’s innovative technological solution “Turboden Steam & Power” revealed in June 2016. According to Bertuzzi, the concept is entering into a “commercial phase” and producing steam will enlargen Turboden’s presence in the cogeneration market beyond the typical temperatures of 80 – 100 °C.

Turboden says that it owes its success mainly to its customers’ loyalty – 90 percent of them maintain an after-sales contract in place and many of them are “returning clients” exemplified the German customer Ziegler that recently inaugurated a 3 MWe ORC, its third Turboden unit.

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