Automation Software Case Study: Movicon + Biomass Plant = 0 Emmissions

Italy’s largest biomass power plant opened recently near the city of Bondeno. With the help of Movicon HMI software, the 24 acre power station is generating 4 MW of electricity with zero emissions and providing power for 10,000 area households.

The largest biomass power plant in Italy started production last October at Bondeno, Italy. The power plant is built on a 24 acre site with four 1 MW power stations generating a total of 4 MW and supplying electricity for 10,000 households in the area.

The $26 million biomass plant was designed and built by Concordia CPL an Italian engineering company with 1500 employees and over 30 years of experience in renewable energy engineering. Biomass plants burn plant debris, wood, paper and other refuse that would normally decompose or go into landfills.

“Concordia was chosen for this project because they presented a unique solution for building and operating the four electric power stations that comprise the facility,” said Roberto Loschi Manager of Concordia Cogeneration and Renewable Energy Sector.

“A very challenging part of the contract was that Concordia had to guarantee zero CO2 emissions into the atmosphere,” Loschi added.

To achieve this goal, Concordia developed a system in which the 4 power stations work in tandem with plant growth cycles and power station burn rates to create a neutral level of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Essentially, the process works like this: decomposing plant material naturally produces large amounts of CO2. By burning these plants before decomposition and then injecting the biogas produced into the cogeneration motors, the result is a much smaller amount of CO2 emission. When the normal CO2 from decomposition is subtracted from this amount you have a net of zero emissions.

In the plant’s first twelve months, 72,000 tons of plant material – mostly maize, sorghum and wheat stalks from area farms – was burned in the biomass facility and converted into electricity.

Producing Power

The Concordia power plant includes 4 SINCRO 1000 cogeneration 999 kWe modules designed
to work for at least 8,500 hours a year and 4 Jenbacker JGS 320 GS-BL motors that offer high
performance and low emissions.

The Jenbacker motor components have a life span of 60,000 hours before routine service is required. Energy generated is equal to more than 8 million KWh for each motor for a total of 32 million kWh.

Vital to the power plant’s overall performance and zero emission standard is the supervisory system required to monitor overall plant system management and analyze historical system performance data.

To select the optimum software platform for automation supervision, engineer Alessio Vaccari
conducted an extensive technical survey. After reviewing several options, he selected the
Movicon 11 SCADA/HMI technology to achieve extremely high levels of supervisory control and
their required goal of zero emissions.

The plant supervision is based on the Movicon 11 SCADA/HMI platform for
easy management and complete monitoring and control.

The Biomass System and Movicon

Concordia designed the Bondeno facility with state-of-the-art control, operator convenience and
supervision in mind. 4 local workstations each with touch screen PCs communicate with the motor’s PLCs to collect all operating statuses, alarms and alerts plus all electric power, heating and process measurements including data on the amount of gas produced.

All the data is stored on-site in a SQL Server database for use in analyzing electricity yield performance trends (power, voltage and current) and motor working parameters (alternator, cylinder, water and oil temperatures and water and oil pressures.)

Thanks to the Movicon Data Analysis tools, the recorded measurements can be instantly extracted from the database archives and analyzed by filters, zooms and curve overlapping tools.

To compliment efficient plant management, Movicon data analysis tools
provide graphics that convey historical DB data according to clients needs.

Reports are provided by the Movicon Report Designer to graphically represent data summaries with a selection of charts and tables that can be easily previewed.

Another extremely useful tool is the Movicon Web Browser. This browser can be used to display dynamic HTML pages provided by the motor builders showing essential motor details. This data can quickly be analyzed by maintenance staff.

System access is protected by a login procedure based on pre-assigned security levels and user

The Main Movicon Supervisor located in the technical control center provides centralization of data. Control center engineers can view all information on motors separately or together in one display.

To compliment efficient plant management, Movicon data analysis tools
provide graphics that convey historical DB data according to clients needs.

Data is stored in the control center on a DB based SQL server in the main supervisory workstation.

Because the Bondeno plant covers a large area, each motor is connected to a public ADSL network using a static IP address. This allows convenient access to the supervisory system via the internet by using the built-in Movicon Web Client.

Reaching Goals and a 15 Year Contract

In its first 18 months of operation, the Bondeno biomass plant has achieved zero CO2 emissions, while providing reliable electricity and extremely smooth operation for plant staff.

Because of the success of the plant, Concordia has been awarded a 15 year contract to operate
and maintain the Bondeno plant: the proverbial win-win situation for Italy’s largest power plant
and Concordia with the help of Movicon.

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