UK biogas plant recycles waste heat using Orcan Energy technology

By Orcan Energy AG | February 09, 2016

Orcan Energy AG resolutely carries on with its international expansion strategy and now has begun to see success in the UK. Since the end of 2015, Shropshire Energy (U.K.) Ltd. is recycling the waste heat from its biogas plant in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, in order to generate electricity with five ORC units from Orcan Energy, also known as ePacks. The biogas plant is built alongside a state-of-the art mushroom farm operated by G's Growers, Ltd, the UK's largest salad growers, to provide the mushroom growing operation with heat and power. Last month Orcan Energy already reported that it has obtained the certificate of conformity with the feed-in guidelines in the UK (in short: G59/3).

The five ePacks will have a total annual electricity output of about 800,000 kWh and a savings potential of approximately 460 tons of CO2 per year. Shropshire Energy placed the order in late September at Orcan's Munich headquarters, with the aim of increasing the efficiency, and therefore the profitability, of its own biogas plant.

The technology has been provided by Orcan Energy. The clean-tech company is headquartered in Munich and specializes in recycling waste heat, especially in the low output and temperature range. Waste heat can be found anywhere where engines are used, for example, and is usually left unexploited. The combined-heat-and-power units of biogas plants are no exception. With so-called ePacks, compact mini generation units about the size of a wardrobe, Orcan Energy offers an ecologically sustainable and economically efficient alternative by re-cycling waste heat into electricity. The resulting electricity can then be used directly on site, or can be fed into the national power grid.

A key element in Shropshire Energy's decision to purchase the ePacks besides the production of electricity is their ability to create a hot water stream which is ideal to heat the adjacent mushroom growing facility. Once the ePack transforms the waste heat of the biogas engines into electricity, G's Growers use the residual heat to create a cozy environment for the mushrooms next door. "This is a smart solution, because it allows us to achieve a number of objectives. We were convinced of the reliability of the ePacks following site visits in Germany. With the ePacks, we improve our environmental impact by using waste heat to generate electricity, it gives us an additional income stream, and crucially, it supports G's Growers producing high quality mushrooms efficiently," explains Will Forbes, of Shropshire Energy.

Andreas Sichert, CEO at Orcan Energy, is delighted to see that ePacks are being used in England. "That motivates us to continue the international expansion of our business and to expand to different industries and fields of application." Only recently, Orcan Energy announced the investment of the global leader for gas, technology and services in the industry and health care sector, Air Liquide, the second-largest strategic investor in the company after E.ON Energy.