Eco-friendly CHP

Paul Boughton

Cogeneration power plant with gas engine supplies economical and eco-friendly CHP heat to 1,700 Berlin households

In June 2015, the installation of a new gas engine marked the launch of a special co-operation agreement between the European energy giant Vattenfall and the housing development company Gewobag Wohnungsbau-Aktiengesellschaft Berlin, owned 100% by the State of Berlin. The cogeneration power plant (CHP) with a total output of 800kW and two new heating boilers replaced six old gas boilers in a housing development in Berlin's Reinickendorf district. For Gewobag, this has been the largest CHP project involving distributed energy produced by a gas gen set.

With the commissioning of the cogeneration plant, Vattenfall and Gewobag made an important inroad towards implementing their climate protection agreements with the State of Berlin. Thanks to the highly efficient and thus eco-friendly MWM gas engine, 600 tons of CO2 are saved each year. This brings the two companies one step closer to their commitment of reducing their CO2 output by 50% up to the year 2020.

Electricity tax and power grid utilisation fees eliminated

The plant provides some 1,700 households, two daycare centres, as well as several commercial operations with eco-friendly CHP heat. Tenants benefit from considerable cost savings because fees such as electricity tax and power grid utilisation fees are eliminated when using distributed electricity. Thus, operating the gas engine helps to keep residential utility costs consistently low.

Eco-friendly MWM cogeneration power plants with combined heat and power, such as the Berlin one, enable decentralised, economical and energy-efficient power production. And MWM offers a range of tailored power plant solutions and gas engines. The company believes that the advantage of MWM combined heat and power over the separate production of electrical power and heat lies in the significantly higher utilisation of the primary energy.

The star of the show in the Berlin installation is MWM’s TCG 2016 gas engine. This has an output range from 400 to 800kWel, high flexibility and runs on all gas types (natural gas, biogas, landfill gas, sewage gas, mine gas, etc.). More than 1,900 power generators with approximately 1,000,000kWel are already installed around the globe.

The gas engines in the TCG 2016 series are geared to the challenges of a dynamic market environment. The models in the output range of 400 – 800kWel meet the high requirements of a broad range of applications and guarantee efficiency, reliability, flexibility and environmental sustainability, together with low lifecycle costs and high profitability.

MWM states that these engines consume up to 15% less gas than comparable gen sets. They have special piston variants with different compression for biogas and natural gas operation as well as optimised gas exchange and camshaft, spark plugs with integrated pre-combustion chamber.

Even load balancing over the individual cylinders enables higher load level and maximum utilisation of the engine reserves in terms of output and efficiency Meanwhile, new closed crankcase ventilation optimises combustion and increases efficiency by utilising the blow-by gas.

Consistent downsizing of dead spaces improves complete combustion of the gas mixture, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and HC- and CO-emissions and higher efficiency

Long service intervals

Use of Xchange components enables time savings of up to 75% during the major overhaul, resulting in reduced costs. The engines also boast a very low lubricant consumption – of only 0.2g/kWh – leading to savings of up to 50% compared to some other solutions on the market.

Finally, the compact gen set design saves investment costs through smaller engine space and fewer plant peripherals. Setup space can be up to 50% smaller than for comparable.

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