Re: #biomass #climate #biomass #climate

Tom Miles



I am sure there are recent life cycle cost assessments of small scale biomass power plants since they are required for most public projects. The challenge with most small scale power plants is that the cost of the equipment and labor often outweigh fuel savings from renewable fuels.


If I recall there is a small turbine at the VA hospital in White River Junction. Small backpressure turbines require large heat demand. An example of small power generation with large heat demand is a small 500 kWe turbine at a sawmill right there across the river in New Hampshire which heats a very large number of wood dry kilns. I think it was installed in about 2000. Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems are often suggested but they also have very large low quality waste heat effluent that must be justified economically. They are best applied is you already have a hot oil boiler with excess heat capacity.


We looked at a small, 500 kWe, gasifier with an internal combustion engine recently but the low cost of heat and power did not make it feasible, even with biochar as a co-product.  




From: <> On Behalf Of Robert Lehmert via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, December 27, 2019 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Biochar] #biomass #climate


Thank you, Tom, for your informative reply. 

I am involved in a project with a VT campus, where a new power plant needs to be installed to replace an old one being decommissioned. I have presented a woodchip plant and they liked it. The issue needs to be decided by the State Building & Grounds department, who operate under a State Law that says: 

"life-cycle costs" shall mean the present value purchase price of an item, plus the replacement cost, plus or minus the salvage value, plus the present value of operation and maintenance costs, plus the energy and environmental externalities' costs or benefits. Where reliable data enables the Department of Buildings and General Services to establish these additional environmental externalities' costs or benefits with respect to a particular purchasing decision or category of purchasing decisions, that is energy related, the Department may recommend the addition or subtraction of an additional price factor. All State agencies shall consider the price factor and environmental considerations set by the Department when examining life-cycle costs for purchasing decisions."

Are there examples of Life Cycle Assessments available for review, so that I can prepare to present this to Buildings & Grounds?  If I can prove that a modern biomass plant has a competitive result, it may open the doors to other state facilities.

Happy new year to you all. 

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