Cogeneration Systems

Generating electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system.

While typical combustion systems have an efficiency of about 40-50 percent, cogeneration systems that combine the power and heat generation processes can be up to 80 percent efficient. With the immense heat generated from our BET BioMass Burner System, cogeneration through efficient use of green biomass is a reality.

BET Systems can support a number of options to convert heat energy to power in an efficient co-gen application. Each of the available options needs to be evaluated based on the primary goals of each end user, and customized to fulfill project targets considering a number of factors. Common alternatives include the following:

The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is based on a turbogenerator working similar to a conventional steam turbine to transform thermal energy into mechanical energy and finally into electric energy through an electrical generator. Instead of generating steam from water, the ORC system vaporizes an organic fluid, characterized by a molecular mass higher than that of water, which leads to a slower rotation of the turbine, lower pressures and no erosion of the metal parts and blades.

The problem of high specific investment costs for machinery, such as steam boilers, are overcome due to the low working pressures in ORC power plants. Another advantage is the long operational life of the machine due to the characteristics of the working fluid that, unlike steam, is non-eroding and non-corroding for valve seats tubing and turbine blades. The ORC process also helps to overcome the relatively small amount of input fuel available in many regions because an efficient ORC power plant is possible for smaller sized plants

Sterling Engine is a closed-cycle regenerative heat engine with a permanently gaseous working fluid. This heat engine is operated by a cyclic compression and expansion of air at different temperatures, and is designed so the working gas is generally compressed in the colder portion of the engine and expanded in the hotter portion. Initially patented in the 1800’s, this technology has a long track record of simple and reliable operation and was successfully tested by NASA in 2018 in a new type of nuclear reactor designed for deep space vehicles and probes.

The Sterling Engine technology is now open source, which makes it readily available for a number of co-gen applications.

Solid State ThermoElectric Generators (TEG) convert heat flux (temperature differences) directly into electrical energy through a phenomenon called the Seebeck effect (a form of thermoelectric effect). Thermoelectric generators capture the same heat as other co-gen power options, but are less bulky and have no moving parts. While TEGs are typically more expensive to purchase, the lack of maintenance and need for trained operating technicians, can make them a very attractive option in some applications.

The Steam Turbine extracts the thermal energy from pressurized steam produced by the extreme heat of a BET Biomass Burner and uses it to engage a rotating output shaft. This generator derives much of its improvement in thermodynamic efficiency from the use of multiple stages in the expansion of the steam. About 85% of all electricity generation in the United States in the year 2014 was by use of steam turbines

Almost regardless of the preferred technology for the given application, BioMass Energy Techniques has the ability to seemlessly offer a ‘plug and play’ solution to create a complete CHP solution.