Turboden's biomass ORC units start commercial operation at two West Fraser sawmills

Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and provider of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems for distributed generation from renewable sources and waste heat, has announced the successful commercial operation of two biomass-fed ORC units supplied to West Fraser, an integrated wood products company based in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

A successful proponent under BC Hydro's Phase 2 Bioenergy call, West Fraser's four 6.5MW ORC turbogenerators are installed at Fraser Lake and Chetwynd sawmills. The power systems have a total power capacity of 13MW at each site to supply electricity to BC Hydro.

In the West Fraser projects, the heat of flue gas from biomass combustion is conveyed in a closed-loop system to the ORC unit which converts thermal energy into electricity. The lower temperature waste heat is released to the environment by means of evaporative cooling towers.

In addition to West Fraser's plants, Turboden is starting up the world largest biomass-fed ORC power unit, supplied to Maine Woods Pellet Company for its pellet production facility in Athens, Maine. The ORC system will produce 8MW by converting the heat of thermal oil generated by wood residues from debarking and chipping operations. The start-up of the plant is scheduled for March 2016. Maine Woods Pellet is the second project in the US for Turboden, after the 1MW ORC unit installed at Albany County Sewer District in Menands, New York.

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