Biomass-fired ORCs installed at wood products players

Two biomass-fuelled Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems units have been commissioned at Canadian wood products company West Fraser.

Based in British Columbia, West Fraser has four 6.5 MW ORC turbogenerators installed at its Fraser Lake West Fraser sawmill biomass and Chetwynd sawmills. The power systems have a total power capacity of 13 MW at each site and supply electricity to utility compnany BC Hydro.

In the West Fraser projects, flue gas heat from biomass combustion is conveyed in a closed-loop system to the ORC unit, supplied by Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The lower temperature waste heat is released to the environment by means of evaporative cooling towers.

In a related development, Turboden says it is starting up the world largest biomass-fed ORC power unit, supplied to Maine Woods Pellet Company for its pellet production facility in Athens, Maine, in the USA.

The ORC system will produce 8 MW by converting the heat of thermal oil generated by wood residues from debarking and chipping operations. Start-up is scheduled for March 2016.

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