Providing electricity to a group of remote domestic or industrial customers can be achieved by a grid connection, or by an off-grid (island) generator. While the former can become costly and will likely be prone to disruption, the latter is normally based on fossil fuels, which makes fuel sourcing and transport critical. To overcome these obstacles, a novel micro-scale biomass generation plant was developed. This plant uses locally available renewable biomass feedstock to generate decentralized power at the point of demand and without the necessity of a grid connection. In this paper, load simulations on the basis of a process simulation model of the plant are performed to achieve a continuous match of supply and demand. It is analysed which load characteristics and fluctuations have to be expected when generating for a remote group of domestic customers, and it is evaluated how the plant needs to be operated to always provide sufficient power. Additionally, the fuel storage system of the plant system is investigated: The plant does not employ electrical storage, but instead matches demand and supply by means of internal usage of heat and power and through fuel storage. Relative and absolute storage levels as well as the storage charge/discharge cycles are analysed, and it will be shown that the plant can easily accommodate severe load fluctuations. Finally, the plant load factors are evaluated, and the findings show that this design is an interesting alternative to common island generators or to a conventional grid connection for remote customers.
Loeser, M., & Redfern, M. A. (2010). Balancing power supply and demand in remote off-grid regions by means of a novel micro-scale combined feedstock biomass generation plant. International Journal of Energy Research, 34(11), 986-1001. https://doi.org/10.1002/er.1624