Energy System Provider
As an Integrated System Provider, Phase 3 Renewables will supply all the equipment, materials, and associated services for implementing your biomass energy system. Phase 3 Renewables can provide a variety of energy conversion systems, for replacement of purchased energy as well as excess energy which can be sold to a local utility or neighboring business. This section covers uses for biogas from anaerobic digestion; please see the gasification tab for energy production from that technology. Electricity, Pipeline Quality Gas, Compressed Biomethane for Vehicle Fuel, Steam and Hot Water.
The most appropriate choices for your operation will be dependent on a number of factors:
- On-farm energy uses and consumption - how much electricity, natural gas and propane do you use? Is your use constant or seasonal? Will your consumption grow in the future?
- Current energy rates - Are you paying more than $0.08 per kilowatt hour for electricity? Are you forced to use propane at >$2.00 per gallon because natural gas is not available?
- Distance from local utility lines - How close is your farm to the substation or natural gas line? Are you served by three-phase or single-phase power lines?
Electricity can be generated by combusting biogas in a spark-ignited engine or converted dual-fueled diesel engine. The biogas can be used directly if hydrogen sulfide levels are low; otherwise it is necessary to scrub the biogas of H2S and condensed water. There are numerous generator choices on the market, and pricing varies dramatically. Phase 3 Renewables constantly evaluates these choices to provide you with a list of alternatives and a recommendation for your site.
Process Overview - Electricity
The turbine and generator you choose, as well as your interconnection to the grid, will depend upon economic and technical factors.
Electrical Interconnection Cost & Feasibility Determination
- Existing peak load
- Proximity to site
- Type of Recloser(s) at substation and sectionalizing devices
- Service Voltage Compatibility
- Ownership of switchgear
- Number & type of isolating transformers
- Communication & metering requirements
Most systems run parallel with the grid, providing back-up and additional power when the biogas generator is not producing enough energy or is down for maintenance. By interconnecting with the grid, you can sell excess energy. However, it is also possible to run isolated from the grid using stand-alone, prime-mover generators. This may be the best choice if your farm is small, since interconnection costs can be very high and unjustified if you will only have a small amount of excess electricity to sell. Phase 3 Renewables has teamed up with I Power Energy Systems to create such an option - a dual-fueled generator that supplies just the amount of power needed for your operations.
Two I-Power Energy System dual-fuel generators provide 130-140 kW of three phase power to the Geerlings Hillside Farms - Overisel Swine Facility. The proprietary gensets can run on either natural gas or biogas. This saves you money on startup by providing both heat and power while your digester is not yet producing suitable biogas for electricity generation. The gensets also provide 3-phase power, eliminating the need for costly utility line changes. Waste heat is captured to meet digester and farm needs for heating.