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The Wrtsil 20 Containerised Power Plant for liquid biofuel

A U T H O R S : R a i n e P e l t o k o s k i , S e n i o r D e v e l o p m e n t M a n a g e r, Po w e r P l a n t Te c h n o l o g y, W r t s i l i n F i n l a n d M a r c o G o l i n e l l i , V i c e P r e s i d e n t , Po w e r P l a n t s , W r t s i l i n I t a l y J a r k k o M k i n i e m i , D e v e l o p m e n t M a n a g e r, Po w e r P l a n t Te c h n o l o g y, W r t s i l i n F i n l a n d

The EU has set mandatory targets on CO2 emissions, efficiency levels, and the portion of energy to come from renewable sources. This article uses an Italian case study to show how Wrtsil is helping to meet these targets.

The EU member states have negotiated ways of meeting the mandatory targets on a country-by-country basis. In the case of Italy, the target is to have 17% of its total energy consumption generated from renewable energy sources. The total electrical energy currently produced in Italy from renewable sources is 66 GWh annually. 72% is based on hydro power, biomasses in general produce 10%, wind farms 9%, geothermal power plants 8%, and solar plants make up the remaining 1%. It is a generally accepted fact that all renewable sources require some form of

economic support mechanism to guarantee the feasibility of such projects. Wind, solar, and biomass power plants have heavy investment costs, while liquid biofuel power plants are more economical in terms of price/power but need incentives to cover the fuel costs. Italian authorities have developed several mechanisms for promoting the development of renewable energy. The most important of these is the obligation placed on power producers to have a certain percentage of production from renewable sources, or alternatively to buy so called Green Certicates. Each Green Certicate represents electrical energy produced from renewable sources (1 GC = 50 MWh), with their value based upon market elements. During the early stages of the Italian legislation there was no dierentiation between the various renewable energy sources, and all such plants were treated

identically. In 2008, however, the Italian Parliament approved dierentiating between the natures of renewable sources and between the size of the power plant. For plants with a capacity of over 1 MW, the main subsidy mechanism, dierentiation by energy source made with a coecient pertaining to Green Certicates, has not changed dramatically since 2008. However, for plants below 1 MWe in output the reward mechanism has moved from Green Certicates to a feed-in tari according to the type of renewable fuel used. As regards liquid biofuel (LBF) power plants, the new system has specied not only the related feed-in tari but also the origin of the LBF used. In early 2010, the feed-in tari for a plant below 1 MWe was settled as being 280 EUR/MWh. The fuel source has to be traceable according to European Union agricultural norms. In other words, to qualify for this tari, the biofuels have to come from within the EU, and furthermore, from clearly identied agricultural areas. This generous feed-in tari has been designed to promote the rapid growth of complying power plants. The recent implementation of the European Union directive for power plants below 1 MWe has also facilitated a fast authorisation process for these small power plants. In Italy, several dierent operators have declared their interest in this specic market. The very rst project based on a Wrtsil Containerised Power Plant with a Wrtsil 6L20 engine has been implemented with Alpha Trading SpA, a trading company specialised in a large variety of bio-oils and with interests in biodiesel. Together, Wrtsil and Alpha Trading SpA have evaluated dierent alternatives, and have identied the Wrtsil


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Heavy fuel oil system


Customer scope

HFO storage

Septic fuel tank

HFO separators
LFO storage Unloading pump

Feeder and booster


Fig. 1 The fuel system for The Wrtsil 20 Containerised Power Plant.

Containerised Power Plant based on the Wrtsil 6L20 engine running on LBF as being the most suitable for present needs. Wrtsil has already sold more than 800 MW of liquid biofuel power plants based on the Wrtsil 20, Wrtsil 32 and Wrtsil 46 engines in Italy, of which 600 MW are already running and producing electricity for the national grid. The Wrtsil 20 Containerised Power Plant solution The Containerised Power Plant (CPP) solution was originally intended for heavy fuel oil (HFO) and for a 9-cylinder in-line Wrtsil 20 (9L20) engine. The electrical output from a Wrtsil 9L20 CPP is 1.5 MW. The Wrtsil 20 Containerised Power Plant oers the advantage of quick installation and can be easily re-located, since all the crucial equipment is housed inside the two 40 foot high cube containers. The containers housing the Wrtsil 20 Containerised Power Plant are CSC certied. They have full stacking capability

for sea transport as with any ISO container. To avoid rainwater leaks, the Wrtsil CPP has no penetrations through the container roofs, and the only equipment to be installed on the roof is a small cooling water expansion vessel. Radiators, air lters, ventilation fans, and other equipment typically located on the roof in containerised power solutions, are all integrated into the two containers. The stack and exhaust silencer have been combined into a self-standing structure that is installed next to the container with the generating set. All HFO treatment equipment, such as the HFO separators, is integrated into the auxiliary container. The control system for the entire CPP is via a single operator interface. One control panel handles everything: engine start, speed control, synchronisation, power control, power factor control, unloading, engine stop, as well as fuel separation, lubrication oil separation, all pumps, radiator frequency and cooling control.

Two patents have been granted for the separator control. The liquid biofuel Wrtsil 6L20 CPP with selective catalytic reduction The liquid biofuel Wrtsil CPP with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is Wrtsils new power plant product. It was initially designed to meet the needs of Italian customers aiming for feed-in tari electricity sales, while at the same time fullling strict nitrogen oxide emission limitations, but is, however, not limited to the Italian market. Wrtsil has considerable experience in power plant operation using dierent qualities of liquid biofuels. In order to gain even more such experience, a test run was arranged in Pieksmki, Finland in March 2010. In this test we were also able to test the Wrtsil 20 CPP concept for operation in cold ambient conditions. The tests were carried out in co-operation with our customer Alpha Trading SpA.

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One of the characteristics of an engine running on LBF is that it has a lower exhaust gas temperature than the same engine operating on HFO. The SCR system, however, requires a relatively high exhaust temperature in order to function properly. These factors make it necessary to modify the engine to reach higher exhaust gas temperatures. We decided to use two methods: a larger opening in the turbocharger nozzle ring and an air waste gate in the charge air receiver. Reduced turbocharger speed and re-circulating charge air increase the exhaust temperature. The air waste gate is controlled automatically by the control panel PLC according to the engines operating parameters. The SCR-module for the Wrtsil 20 CPP is steel framed, and is installed between the genset container and the exhaust stack. Nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions are reduced by injecting either ammonia or a urea solution into the exhaust gas. The NOX is then converted inside the catalyst into free nitrogen and water vapour.

Auxiliary container

Fuel tank container

Plant office

500 kW loadbank

SCR module

Genset container

500 kW loadbank


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During the Pieksmki test run, we programmed the correct dosing parameters for urea in order to achieve the desired NOX reduction. The Wrtsil dosing system also includes an NOX-sensor, which is used to ne tune the dosing to get precise reduction results. A patent application has been led in this regard. A single operator interface principle prevails, and the SCR control was successfully added to the Wrtsil 20 CPP control panel. LBF has a relatively low caloric value, and also a lower density than HFO. This means more fuel in volume has to be injected in order to achieve the same output from the engine as in the case of HFO. A greater injected fuel volume means a longer injection process. This again means higher injection pressures at full load. In the test run we used three dierent sizes of injection nozzles to study this matter together with the NOX -, particle-, and HC-emission measurements. We used soy oil and rapeseed oil as the main fuel, and diesel oil for back-up. In case regular diesel is not acceptable as the back-up fuel, a treated rapeseed oil can, for example, also be used. Vibration and sound levels were checked to verify the new generating set values. It is possible to utilise heat from the engine cooling system from the Wrtsil 20 CPP, and 100-200 kW is achievable from a heat exchanger, depending on water ow and temperature. We have made a thorough risk assessment for the Wrtsil 20 Containerised Power Plant according to European Union Machinery Directive 14121, and it is now ready for CE-marking. This is the rst complete power plant for which Wrtsil can take such a responsibility. Usually, when power plants are being built within the EU, it is the end customer who nally carries out the plant risk assessment and CE-marking process.
NOTE: See also the animation on the Wrtsil 20 CPP at global/docs/en/power/media_publications/ animations/containerised-power-plantlow-res.wmv

Technical data for the Wrtsil 20 CPP Engine Generator Electrical power Fuel Ambient temperature Noise level Containers Length Width Height Weight Wrtsil 9L20 or 6L20 1000 rpm Standard 50 Hz/11 kV, 50 Hz/400 V and 60 Hz versions on request 1539 kW or 998 kW HFO 380 cSt at 50C, 980 kg/m3 or LBF 043C 70 dB(A) at 10 m 40 ft high cube, CSC certied 12.2 m 2.5 m 3.0 m Genset container certied for 40 tons, auxiliary container 25 tons

HFO/LBF separators and full fuel treatment included

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