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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Double your energy production

Concentrated Solar Thermal energy Meets Biomass CHP

Concentrated Solar Thermal energy is intermittent, and the cost of storing thermal energy increases the cost of using it to generate electricity.

However, biomass gasification at high temperature can be achieved efficiently with Concentrated Solar Thermal energy.

The result is almost complete conversion of biomass to a gas that is quite clean
As can be seen in the figure, the pressure drop did not increase significantly over a period of 1500 s for the 1200 °C condition. However, the increase was rapid and exponential at 1000 °C, only dropping after a safety pressure relief valve opened. This indicated the presence of tars at this decomposition temperature

As non-solar thermal gasification systems cannot efficiently achieve temperatures in excess of 1000 °C, they will be burdened by some tar production, which decreases yield and can foul downstream catalysts and equipment. This is completely eliminated at 1200 °C, adding more impetus to operate the gasification reaction in the solar thermal temperature regime.

The gas is cleaner and also contains more energy

For example:
  • When biomass is gasified by incineration with air and pure oxygen, char is left over and part of the biomass energy is consumed.
  • When the energy to gasify the biomass is Concentrated Solar Thermal energy, little of the biomass remains and the resulting gas contains about double the energy content.
A biomass CHP (Combined Heat and Power) system then produces much more energy from available biomass resources.
Also, Concentrated Solar Thermal energy is exploited in this process at a lower cost than a Solar Thermal power station. The expense of thermal energy storage is not needed.

To read about the energy business opportunities this technology creates see Doubling Energy Production with No Increase in CO2 Emissions

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