Just over an acre of land…how much energy can we produce?

With just about enough space for a football pitch, or a few tennis courts, surely your expectations would be limited if you were embarking upon a project to build a […]

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By Freddie Rand

With just about enough space for a football pitch, or a few tennis courts, surely your expectations would be limited if you were embarking upon a project to build a sizeable power station? Even more so for a renewable energy plant, fed by waste wood or processed waste, where bulk storage of the feedstock is required.

We’ve all seen those imposing, cathedral-scale structures, with huge chimneys and cooling towers, where you might, conceivably squeeze the staff car park onto such a space – and then there’s the modern way!

Refgas Ltd and its team have been passionate from the outset, not just about efficiency, output and environmental standards but equally about designing a compact, modular system which can suit a wide range of uses. With CHP outputs from 2.4MWh for a single unit, up to 48MWh for a multiple unit system, these generating stations can fit comfortably onto the smallest of sites.

This unique process, housed in container-frame building blocks, is assembled and tested at the factory before being shipped for installation and commissioning. It firstly converts combustible feedstock into a synthesis gas (syngas) which then fuels traditional reciprocating engines to generate heat and power.

This means there are neither the huge boilers, turbines and cooling towers, nor the associated tangle of pipework and vessels which traditionally make up the construction of combustion and incineration plants in this sector.

Refgas projects are neat, low profile constructions and because their syngas “fuel” is cleaner than natural gas, the towering chimney stacks associated with energy from waste projects are not required.

The process is not only cleaner but also much more efficient than other processes which burn or incinerate materials and with opportunities for the owner/operator to receive significant gate fees for the required feedstock, these plants don’t need government hand-outs or here-today-gone-tomorrow incentives to make them stack up financially.

So, just how much energy can you produce from a site of just over an acre?

Well, Refgas has just completed such a facility for Swindon Energy at Royal Wootton Bassett. Take a look at their Youtube channel here.

Electricity output: 6MWh – enough to power 10,000 homes!

Heat output: 8.4MWh – enough to make six tonnes per hour of steam!

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