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SmartCHP: Cogenerating a renewable future

The EU-funded SmartCHP project is developing a novel, flexible small-scale cogeneration unit to produce heat and electricity from sustainable biomass. The project brings together 10 European partners, including industrial companies, universities and innovation experts, coordinated by BTG Biomass Technology Group.

By the end of the project (2023), partners will build a demonstration cogeneration unit capable of running continuously for up to 500 hours in realistic conditions. Once commercialised the system will provide a small-scale solution for hospitals, universities, municipal buildings and countless industrial users seeking an efficient alternative to fossil sources.

The main novelty of SmartCHP is the use of fast pyrolysis bio-oil in a converted diesel engine, which has been chosen for its high electrical efficiency (more than 40%). The unit will be designed to have high flexibility, meaning it can easily operate with different loads and produce more electricity or more heat as demand changes. A smart control unit is integrated to automate this function.

This flexibility makes the SmartCHP system ideally suited for use in combination with intermittent sources in a fully renewable energy system. Pyrolysis bio-oils are produced from agroforestry residues and organic waste, diversifying the supply of bioenergy for CHP units. They comply with the sustainability criteria concerning biodiversity, emissions and indirect land-use change introduced by the new Renewable Energy Directive, and cause 85-95% less GHG emissions compared to fossil fuels.

More info:

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 815259.

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

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