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The feasibility of biomass CHP as an energy and CO2 source for commercial glasshouses

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journal contribution
posted on 30.08.2013, 12:05 by O.R. Moreton, Paul Rowley
A techno-economic modelling tool has been developed to examine the feasibility of biomass combined heat and power (CHP) technologies to provide the energy and CO2 demands of commercial horticultural glasshouses. Using the UK as a case study, energy and CO2 demands of candidate glasshouse installations on an hourly basis are established using both measured and benchmark datasets. Modelled electrical and thermal generation profiles for a number of commercially available small-scale biomass CHP systems of rated outputs of 0.1–5 MWe are also derived, and the results of their application within the modelling tool to carry out multi-parametric techno-economic analyses for various operational scenarios are presented. The impacts of both capital grant and generation tariff-based support mechanisms upon economic feasibility are investigated, along with that of variations in feedstock fuel prices. Net CO2 reductions accruing from the implementation of biomass CHP are also assessed. Finally, technical options, marginal costs and sale tariffs for CO2 recovery and supply are evaluated for specific scenarios. The results indicate that feasibility is very sensitive to the relationship between specific biomass CHP power:heat ratios and their match with glasshouse temporal electrical and thermal energy demand profiles, along with economic factors such as specific levels of capital and tariff-based support. With the utilisation of currently available financial support mechanisms, biomass CHP offers significant promise for realising economically viable significant CO2 emission reductions in this sector.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


MORETON, O.R. and ROWLEY, P., 2012. The feasibility of biomass CHP as an energy and CO2 source for commercial glasshouses. Applied Energy, 96 pp. 339 - 346.


© Elsevier Ltd


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This article was published in the journal, Applied Energy [© Elsevier Ltd]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.02.023