During initial operations at Dudingen, a number of upgrade possibilities were discovered to improve the durability and performance of the system. These upgrades are now complete and our datasheet has now been revised to reflect the better performance:
The new performance was better than we hoped for and demonstrated 85kW of electricity equating to over 16% efficiency based on electricity out / calorific value of fuel consumed. Over the coming weeks we plan to gradually increase furnace temperatures to achieve 100kWe output.
A critical part of a hot air turbine system is how it is started and controlled during operation. Our present DUO+ system uses an external PLC based controller. Whilst this works fine, it is bulky, expensive and software upgrades are more difficult to implement.
In 2015, we started the development of a purpose built mini-turbine controller called the HATSC. This controller uses the open access Python programming language and has the following key features:
- Three dedicated controllers for the master controller, safety watchdog controller and intelligent IO
- 15 x 0-10V voltage inputs
- 2 x 4-20mA current inputs
- 10 x RTD PT100 temperature inputs
- 5 x K-Type thermocouple inputs
- 3 x Relay digital outputs
- 3 x 0-10VDC voltage outputs
- CAN interface
This system has been fitted into our MINI-XP system for DSTG and will be used for our MONO-HCR system that will convert heat from a concentrated solar tower and produce elevctricity in Spain.
During 2016, we developed a new MINI-XP system. This new equipment does not have a built in Turbocharger, but is designed to operate with a pressurised heat source instead.
This first system will utilise our new Hot Air Turbine System Controller (HATSC) and will be first tested by DSTG in Australia as part of a programme to improve the Austrialian Navy’s diesel engines.
Whilst our facility at Wingate Rd allowed us to grow our prototype build facility, we needed larger, purpose built premises to allow us to expand into pilot production build.
During 2016, these were built as part of the new Daedalus Enterprise park and after fitting the unit out to our specification, we moved in December.
Our new premises has room to expand the engineering team as well as doubling our prototype / pilot build cells.
In partnership with Schmid Energy, we have just completed commissioning the system at Dudingen in Switzerland. The system will generate 100kW coupled to a 650kWth waste-wood fired furnace producing heat for the local trading estate as well as exporting the 100kWe to the utility grid. The project is part of the Switzerland’s lighthouse programme investing in technologies that will move Switzerland’s energy portfolio over to Renewable sources.
The system has now been handed over to Groupe-E who will now run the plant on a commercial basis.
Last year, Bluebox Energy were selected to work with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) of Australia to investigate the potential of our turbine energy recovery systems to improve the performance of a large marine engine and to provide a full documentation set to support a demonstration phase.
Bluebox Energy is delighted to announce that the DSTG have now contracted with us to move forward to the concept demonstrator phase where we will provide a fully integrated system including controls capable of retrofit to their existing test engine. Detailed design and build is planned to be completed within the next four months, with testing targeted later in 2016
In May of 2015, as a member of a European consortium, we started work on the EU sponsored CAPTure project deleloping the next generation of concentrated solar power plant using energy storage and combined cycle.
A key deliverable in the CAPTure concentrated solar power project was the Brayton cycle component requirement spec. This document describes in details the requirements for all the key components including:
– The Low and High pressure turbochargers
– The interstage intercooler
– The Turbogenerator
– Power electronics
– The control system
– Ancilliaries (e.g. Lubrication and cooling system)
After a year of development effort, we’ve now finished building the first 100kW DUO+ for Schmid Energy.
The system features a turbocharger supplied by ABB, turbogenerators and power electronics supplied by Bowman Power, cooling system manufactured by Hydac integrated with a control system by Bluebox Energy.
The system will be integrated with the biomass / waste wood furnace and heat exchanger in Switzerland and commissioned at Dudingen in Swizerland during April.