Utilization of biogas for the generation of electric power and heat

Biogas can be used either for the production of heat only or for the generation of electric power.

When current is obtained, normally heat is produced in parallel. Such power generators are called combined heat and power generation plants (CHP) and are normally furnished with a four-stroke engine or a Diesel engine. A Stirling engine or gas turbine, a micro gas turbine, high- and low-temperature fuel cells, or a combination of a high-temperature fuel cell with a gas turbine are alternatives.

Biogas can also be used by burning it and producing steam by which an engine is driven, e.g., in the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), the Cheng Cycle, the steam turbine, the steam piston engine, or the steam screw engine. Another very interesting technology for the utilization of biogas is the steam and gas power station.

Figure 5.1 shows the range ofcapacities for the power generators which are available on the market as pilot plants or on an industrial scale. The efficiency indicates the ratio of electrical power to the total energy content in the biogas. Efficiency figures are given for different manufacturers. Small-capacity engines can result in lower efficiencies than high-capacity engines.

The generated current and heat can supply the bioreactor itself, associated buildings, and neighboring industrial companies or houses. The power can be fed into the public electricity network, and the heat into the network for long-distance heat supply. Vehicles can sometimes be driven by the power or the heat.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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