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Steam power boosts energy returns at Daventry biomass plant
Steam power boosts energy returns at Daventry biomass plant

A biomass site near Daventry in Northamptonshire is being converted into a state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) facility generating up to 700 extra kilowatts of electricity a day, as well as heat from the site’s steam-raising boiler, using a ground-breaking 580kWe steam-expanding system.

The Pedigree Power recycling site, operated by Silvertree and developed by Larch Group, converts up to 25,000 tonnes of waste wood per annum into a green source of power. After fitting a steam-raising boiler coupled with the patented steam-expanding generator from Heliex Power, the plant will produce extra energy to operate the plant, with the surplus being sold to the National Grid, as well as generating heat for the site’s wastewater processing plant.

The new system will also allow Pedigree Power to benefit from enhanced Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Contract for Difference (CfD) payments.

Until recently, it was thought to be impossible to harness the power of wet steam – the type of vapour you see emanating from a boiled kettle. However, after years of research, Heliex Power, in conjunction with researchers from City University, London have developed a commercially viable method of turning the wet steam into electricity.

To benefit from the technology, biomass operators have to purchase a steam-raising boiler – they can then generate electricity using the patented Heliex GenSet as well as generating heat from their boiler. While requiring more up-front investment, the CHP system typically delivers much higher returns through increased RHI payments and the sale of excess electricity.

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