Significant cost savings for power plants by optimal fuel combination

New methods facilitate bio- and waste fuels combustion

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With the help of methods developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland solid fuel fired power plants can improve their process follow-up and clarify the cost impacts of different fuel combinations. Through efficient fuel planning and process management, cost savings on multi-fuel boilers can amount to hundreds of thousands of euros every year.

Emission trading has increased interest at power plants to change fuel blends to a type favouring solid biofuels. The profitability of waste incineration is also being studied at several power plants. If it is technically possible to replace coal or peat with biofuels, even small changes in the fuel blend may create significant cost savings for plants at current fuel and emission market prices. Combusting bio- and waste fuels can, however, cause plants new technical challenges which must be taken into account when evaluating the overall cost impact.

Decrease in unexpected shut-downs

Power plants may utilise the methods developed by VTT by including them in their automation and reporting systems. They help control the overall economy of power plant, which consists of among others fuel costs, operating efficiency, maintenance costs, unexpected shut-downs, investments in renewable parts and emission trading costs. Power plants may also improve their production reliability by utilising.the methods.

Kymenlaakso Energia, owned by Stora Enso Publication Papers, produces heat and electricity for Stora Enso’s Anjalankoski paper mill. The company was assisted by VTT’s methods in optimising the use of high-quality packaging waste. The overall operational economy of the power plant was improved, and its energy production for paper manufacture was ensured as, for example, the number of expensive, unexpected shut-downs decreased.

In addition to power plants using solid fuels, other parties standing to benefit from VTT’s methods include fuel suppliers and automation system manufacturers. The development work has been funded by VTT, Tekes, the EU and several power plants and fuel suppliers.

 


Additional information

VTT is an impartial expert organisation. Its objective is to develop new technologies, create new innovations and value added thus increasing customer's competencies. With its know how VTT produces research, development, testing and information services to public sector and companies as well as international organisations.