We have already talked about the great advantages of biomass. It’s a sustainable fuel for heating. Today, we want to show a study case developed in Ispaster (Spain). Based on biomass, a microgrid has been built to supply heating and heated water to different buildings. It is fully functional and they expect to make it bigger. The solution makes use of polyethylene pipes to conduct heated water.
Nice. But, what’s a microgrid?
That’s something we should know before starting to talk about this nice example. A microgrid is a local grid with control capability. One of its main advantages is that it can disconnect from the general grid being completely autonomous. There are many microgrids based on renewable energies such as photovoltaics, hydrogen or wind energy. Furthermore, thanks to the control systems, different sources of energy can be complemented.
Ispaster. A small autonomous village
Ispaster is a small village sited in the North of Spain. The initial installation has a 90 kW boiler. The fuel used is wood chops obtained from the neighbouring forests. That means, the cost is minimal for the village. The council expects to increase the power of the installation as more users connect to the grid.
Nowadays, the buildings connected are the council, the school, the nursery, the playroom, the church, some restaurants and leisure areas. The installation has been built by Rehau. Making use of a water deposit of 5,000 l, the water is heated up to 80ºC. Afterwards, that water is conducted through pipes. Those pipes are really special. They are made of cross-linked polyethylene preisolated. The water goes to the end users and comes back through the same pipe. That means much less space required for the installation. The difference between the inlet and outlet water is 20ºC.
One of the most importante features of this installation is the ring structure of the microgrid. Instead of a tree structure, the ring one allows recirculating easily the water. It will allow increasing the power of the installation adding more boilers as more clients are connected.
Source: Renewable Energy Magazine