Case Study: Renewable Energy From Vegetable Oil Fuels Power Station

Vegetable oil running a power plant?

Rapeseed oil is a vegetable product extracted from the rape plant (light yellow flowers shown in picture). Rapeseed oil costs less than diesel and gas and creates 98 percent less pollution. While the use of biofuel in cars has been complicated by technical and legal issues, it is a different story in a power plant fueled by rapeseed oil.

As a burnt combustible byproduct, rapeseed oil is 100% renewable and therefore completely compliant to the Kyoto protocol and qualified CO2 carbon dioxide emission limitations and reduction objectives. In the diverse world of renewable energy, vegetable oil cogeneration systems have the lowest investment costs per KW / h installed and area occupied.

Today, interest in process control and the use of vegetable oil is on the rise. According to studies, vegetable oil can guarantee higher performances than biofuel at the same renewable fuel level. It has been calculated that each acre of land cultivated with rapeseed can produce an equivalent of two thousand litres of fuel oil; an oil farm without waste and pollution costing less than diesel oil. In fact, the green part of the plant is used by the livestock feed industry, while the extracted oil content is taken to power station and converted into energy.

A vegetable oil power station is a plant which generates electricity based on diesel reciprocating engines, designed to run on biomass liquid (vegetable oil). The vegetable oil power station, as any other cogeneration plant, produces electric and thermal energy simultaneously. Thermal energy is created by a recycled water process using heat dissipation exchangers (radiators). The electric energy produced, can be fed into the power grid.

A very small part of thermal energy is used for the plant’s vital cycle process whereas the remaining part can be used in civil or industrial heating systems or in any other application that requires conventional heating obtained from water heated to about 80 °C.

CLICK HERE to read the full case study, including details on vegetable oil substations, how the power generator works, and details on the control system.

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