Organic Rankine cycle with biomass for sustainable combined heat and power in greenhouses

Project website: GREENCO

Time period:  February 2020 to August 2022

Funder: Co-financed by Greece and EU, Program EPAnEK

Total budget: n/a

Short description:

Biomass is a raw residual of biological origin in agriculture and consists a renewable energy source, which remains unexploited in many cases. Biomass could be beneficial as fuel in solid, liquid or gas state, leading in a reduced energy cost of rural investments. The project’s main objective is the development of a cogeneration system (combination of heat and power production) based on the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), using greenhouse’s residual biomass burning as hot source for the vaporizer of the ORC. The project results are expected to improve the financial viability of a rural investment, but also to contribute to biomass management and its efficient using.

The thermal and electrical power of the under-development cogeneration system will be 200 kW and 20 kWe respectively. The biomass burning will take place through a suitable control system at 130oC, while the condensation temperature of ORC will be about 50oC. Heat will be transferred from the ORC condenser (50oC) to the greenhouse’s internal of 300 m2.

The main goals that are expected to be succeeded are:

  • The qualitative and quantitative assessment of the biomass and the organization of the supply chain.
  • The simulation and optimization of the ORC system combined with biomass boiler and the ORC design.
  • Construction of prototype ORC unit and laboratory tests.
  • Installment of the prototype ORC in a greenhouse and testing in real environment.
  • Technoeconomical and environmental assessment of the cogeneration system.