Self-regulated asynchronous cogeneration to enable micro-scale waste-to-energy biogas utilisation

Abstract

Methane-rich biogas produced as a waste-to-energy (WTE) by-product of organic effluent
treatment in anaerobic digesters and microbial fuel cells has potential to generate 30TWh of
electricity. Yet, whilst combined heat/power units (CHP) based on dedicated industrial biogas
engines currently recover energy from large-scale WTE and cogeneration (CG) technologies
(250KWhe), the current size is not compatible with the waste/energy requirements of most
potential users, meaning that only 1.6% of the available feedstock is being utilised.
Micro-scale WTE technologies – which are uniquely aligned with these requirements – are
therefore predicted to dominate the market through widespread public and industrial
application. However, despite uptake of micro-AD/MFC growing rapidly, there is no
commercial technology for biogas micro-CG due to a fundamental restriction on scalability of
synchronous generator costs with reducing CHP size.
Lindhurst Innovation Engineering aim to realise an enabling technology for a turn-key biogas
micro-CHP, by instead proving the technical feasibility of self-regulated asynchronous
generation, allowing key expensive components for synchronisation to be omitted. Based on a
novel framework for high power factor grid-linked induction, a dedicated micro-scale biogas
engine and integrated scrubbing, the project targets a step change in engine
displacement/electrical generation capacity, system complexity, cost, noise and maintenance.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

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Participant

Lindhurst Engineering Limited, SUTTON IN ASHFIELD

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