Agricultural biogas installation “Dries Energy”
Client – Dries Energy
Address – Zur Morsheck 10, 4770 Möderscheid/Amel, Belgium
Business Branch – Agriculture
Technology – Anaerobic digestion + CHP
Source of biomass: grass and organic agricultural waste (15.000 ton)
Fuel – Biogas from anaerobic digestion
Electricity production – 600 kWe (double capacity permitted)
Grid Connection – Grid Connection 15 kV through underground cable
Period Operational – 2012
What is agricultural biogas?
Agricultural biogas plants utilise organic materials originating from a farm to generate biogas and renewable power through cogeneration. Because of the variety of economic and ecological benefits it affords, many farmers decide to integrate this technology in their business. Producing biogas from renewable raw materials and other agricultural products offers them long term profits and a calculable source of income.
Dries Energy, a comprehensive partnership
In addition to constructing biogas plants for customers, Upgrade Energy also builds and operates its own biogas installations and welcomes cooperation with partners from agriculture and industry. Within this context Dries Energy was established in cooperation with Gerhard Dries, a farmer located in the Belgian East Cantons.
Some key factors for this project were: the proximity of a medium voltage line of ORES which simplified grid connection and the availability of inputs from the farm and from neighbouring companies (mainly pure agricultural streams).
Anaerobic digestion is a multistep biological and chemical process.
There are three key process stages:
Liquid and solid inputs are pre-treated in the hall before they are pumped inside the digester. The input buffer (in red on the picture below) allows us to automate the installation with a range of two days.
The digester is a mesophilic reactor that “breaks” the organic part of the waste producing methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide(CO2). The fermentation of this inputs produces a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide (= biogas). The biogas is burned in the engine which produces electricity and heat.
After the production of biogas the remaining product is pumped out and sterilized at 70 degrees during one hour and afterwards later separated in two fractions:
• Liquid fraction: This is used as a fertilizer because it has nitrogen, phosphorous and potasium (NPK).
• Solid fraction, that is dried in order to produce compost
Dries Energy assures optimal use of the heat in the sterilization and drying process and a high efficiency of the energy use.
A green technology
It’s needless to say that biogas is particularly environmentally-friendly, as it does not cause additional greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions and reduces the quantity of organic waste materials. One farm of 100 cows can produce >250 MWh/year, sufficient energy to provide energy for 34 families. In order to guarantee the performance and the year over year profits we constantly monitor the biogas and energy production.
Biogas consists of 55 % methane which conforms natural gas. The rest is CO2 and a few percentages of other gases such as water vapor and H2S. The biogas is used in a gas engine that produces 600 kWe. This electricity is used in the installation and the remaining 500 kWe is injected into the ORES network.
The generator is capable of providing constantly 600kWe. This is done with a power factor of 0.95 and with an availability of 91%. The installation was put into service in January 2013 with a reduced capacity of 40%. In the following month production was increased to the maximum
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