Biomass Fueled District Heating

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Biomass Fueled District Heating

University of Minnesota – Morris
(Morris, Minnesota, USA)

FVB Energy provided pre-design services for a proposed biomass-fired boiler for the University of Minnesota, Morris campus. The first element in assessing the project viability was to understand what fuel sources were available and including their chemical composition, moisture content, and heating value as well as to determine if those sources were reliable and cheap sources. The decision to build a biomass boiler would be based on displacing expensive natural gas consumption with low-cost biomass material and creating an educational opportunity for researching biomass combustion. FVB Energy reviewed the quantity and cost issues associated with biomass material. We identified operational constraints associated with burning biomass in a fluidized bed boiler or a grate type boiler that might affect load following for the widely fluctuating campus heating load, and we commented on ways to solve these operational difficulties. FVB Energy summarized the advantages and disadvantages of burning biomass in a fluidized bed or grate type boiler. The objectives were to have the ability to fire a wide-range of biomass solid fuels, to provide good research potential for the University, and to meet these objectives within a target maximum cost. FVB Energy also estimated construction costs and developed annual operating and maintenance costs for the biomass equipment (fuel feed chute through to air pollution control equipment).

St. Paul, Minnesota
(St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)

FVB was hired by District Energy Saint Paul to assist with the development of a new bio-mass fired Combined Heat and Power plant. The Plant is a water-cooled vibrating grate system with boiler for steam-production to a turbine for both backpressure to the District Heating system as well as a condensation stage for electrical production. The plant generates 25 MW of power and provides 65 MWth heat energy to the existing district heating system. The plant will consume 275 000 tons of biomass annually. FVB assisted with conceptual designs and acted as the owners’ engineer for the project, performing technical assistance for the Owner during the whole implementation phase. The project is currently under construction.