Convion SOFC generates zero emission electricity and heat from biogas in Italy

09.11.2017

Convion has started operating a biogas fuelled C50 SOFC system in Italy. The start-up marks a launch of a demonstration of Convion’s fuel flexible C50 SOFC co-generation unit at an industrial biogas installation and an important milestone along the path of commercialization of the product. After a successful trial operation of the module in Finland and completion of site installation at Collegno waste water treatment plant of SMAT, the unit started producing power and heat for the plant’s own consumption. The installation is the largest solid oxide fuel cell plant in the world fueled by biogas directly.

The installation is part of a European project called DEMOSOFC. The project showcases a state-of-the-art implementation of SOFC fuel cells in a replicable application of waste watertreatment. Cleaning of waste water is an energy intensive municipal function in communities of all sizes and it is critical to well-being of people and the environment. Capturing the energy value of the waste can significantly contribute to energy independence and carbon emission targets of cities and provides a dependable source of energy for the facilities’ critical functions. SOFC produces zero local emissions of particulates, NOx, SOx, CO or hydrocarbon and does not therefore impair urban air quality.

The Collegno waste water treatment plant is a medium sized facility serving a population of approximately 180 000. As part of the waste water treatment process, organic matter is digested by an anaerobic, microbial process producing biogas with approximately 60-65% methane content. Converting the gas to power and heat directly maximizes the local resources value, minimizes losses of transportation and eliminates a need to upgrade the biogas to biomethane compatible to pipeline transmission.

The site installation and integration to the wastewater treatment plant is a joint effort by Politecnico di Torino, the project co-ordinator, Convion, the fuel cell provider, and SMAT, the owner of the facility in Collegno. Local utilization of biogas at the plant by a well-integrated fuel cell CHP generator offsets approximately 30% of grid-purchased electrical power. Yet, recovered waste heat from SOFC’s exhaust is sufficient to provide all of the heating necessary for the waste treatment process. Own power generation in a microgrid improves the plantsenergy independence and operational resilience. By its size and functionality, the DEMOSOFC plant is unique in the world.

Convion is a technology leader in medium-to-large SOFC systems and has a long history and unparalleled experience in using biogases of varying qualities directly in fuel cell systems. Fuel flexible SOFC generators are a key technology for unlocking vast, yet underutilized potential of sustainable waste bioenergy in sub-megawatt power range. Convion SOFC outperforms conventional generating technologies at this scale by a factor of 1.5 to 2 in electrical power production. Together with autonomous operation capability, modularity and long maintenance intervals, Convion SOFC offers game changing benefits for adopting a resource-smart circular economy approach in small scale installations.


Archive

2017
09.11.2017Convion SOFC generates zero emission electricity and heat from biogas in Italy
02.11.2017Power Fund II investee Visedo sold
21.09.2017Visedo CEO, Kimmo Rauma, Takes Electric Message to the World
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11.05.2017Superb performance with renewable biogas
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2016
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13.06.2016Swiss Smart Grid Solution Company DEPsys Raises CHF 3 Million of Financing
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29.01.2016Performance monitoring and verification drives orders and investment for Norsepower
11.01.2016Visedo joins forces with Dutch marine electric system expert Electric Power Conversion B.V.
2015
03.11.2015Sustainability Management 2.0“ – WeSustain receives top marks
30.10.2015WeSustain becomes a SASB Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) Partner
11.06.2015Visedo’s electric drive trains to equip world’s largest electric ferryboat
14.01.2015Merus Power wins its biggest contract ever
2014
14.12.2014Growth capital for WeSustain (Series B)
21.10.2014Self-Sufficient and Emission-Free Energy to Go
2013
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