Objectives

In the ARBAHEAT project an existing 731 MWe Ultra-SuperCritical coal-fired power plant will be transformed into a biomass-fired Combined Heat and Power plant by repowering with thermally-treated biomass produced on-site.
This demonstration encompasses:  (1) Transformation into CHP: This will be demonstrated by delivering a minor amount of heat to the on-site biomass treatment process, while envisaging large-volume heat delivery to nearby industry. This will provide renewable local heat, enhancing the overall efficiency of the plant from 46% electricity-only to 70-90% in CHP mode, (2) Biomass feedstock: An integrated thermal pre-treatment process will enable utilisation of diverse sustainable biomass feedstock.
This will minimise investment and operating cost while broadening the possibilities in term of geographical feedstock sourcing and quality (3) Biomass pre-treatment: The thermal biomass upgrading process of ARBAFLAME will deliver biomass fuel with handling and milling characteristics approaching that of coal, allowing for retrofitting with minimal adaptations to the existing power plant.
The technical capacity of the demonstration plant will allow for maximum flexibility in upscaling the technology for future replication,  (4) Integration into power plant: The biomass pre-treatment and heat delivery system will be physically integrated within the existing power plant. Eliminating several cost and energy intensive steps (steam production, pelletizing) will be investigated, towards more cost-effective final design.
This demonstration of an integrated very low-costs concept in large-scale energy production will pave the way to subsequent multiplication in commercial industrial projects, thus increasing the EU capacity for renewable power and heat generation. The renewable ARBAHEAT solution therefore has the potential to significantly contribute to the replacement of fossil-fuel in the heat and power sectors and increase the decarbonisation of the energy market.

SO-1: To identify and secure suitable and sustainable biomass sources that meet the quality requirements for thermally treated biomass, and define cost-efficient onsite handling, pre-treatment and storage technologies [WP2].

Actions to validate objective:

(A) Identify at least 3 distinctive, commercially viable, fully sustainable types of feedstock, (B) Secure at least 1 feedstock for post-project operations, (C) Organise feedstock supply chain including transport, on-site handling and storage of the feedstock and intermediates types, including harbour infrastructure.

SO-2: To enable CHP operations by local diversion of steam and identify and techno-economically evaluate future modes of operations with off-site steam delivery [WP3 and WP4].

Actions to validate objective:

(A) Realize the physical infrastructure to deliver steam to the integrated upgrading system, (B) Identify at least 3 distinctive, commercially viable external heat users within the Heat Roundabout system reach, (C) Draft a full techno-economic plan for the off-site steam delivery, including modes with direct heat delivery and cascading via heat recovery system of the ARBAHEAT plant.

SO-3: To develop a prototype of an on-site integrated steam explosion process with heat recovery to enable the cost-effective replacement of fossil fuels with thermally treated biomass [WP4]

Actions to validate objective:

(A) Install and commission a first full-scale modular system prototype integrated steam explosion process with heat recovery, (B) Compile Mass/Energy balance showing lower energy demand (thermal and electrical) for steam explosion pellets compared to white pellets, (C) Demonstrate sufficient product quality with mass loss at 10-12 % for any feedstock tested, (D) Validate prototype design to allow future upscaling and further design optimisation (chemical recovery, milling and fuel handling capacity).

SO-4: To establish the future heat and power production modes of the retrofitted bio-CHP plant and derive the associated thermal and electrical efficiencies [WP3]

Actions to validate objective:

(A) Define variable heat and power production scenarios within the boundaries of the local heat demand, and commercial load following possibilities, (B) Model the dynamic behaviour and load flexibility.

SO-5: To design, install and commission the integrated ARBAHEAT bio-CHP concept and demonstrate the achievement of expected performance and efficiency rates of the concept in an operational environment [WP4, WP5]

Actions to validate objective:

(A) Conduct the detailed design of the bio-CHP plant, including drafting the future tie in/out options for Heat Roundabout, (B) Validate the thermally treated biomass production at the pilot-plant GRASMO and deliver 5 kTon materials for preliminary testing, (C) Maintain continuous electric net efficiency > 45 % and Combined Heat and Power efficiency of at least 65 %, with the extrapolated heat delivery into the Heat Roundabout system, (D) Ensure load-following abilities matching the state-of-the-art gas-powered power units (usable load range ramp-up 10 %/min), within the boundaries of the local heat demand, and commercial load following possibilities, (E) Realise integrated operations with 100 % uncompacted biomass as the fuel in a state of the art plant.

SO-6: Validate the economic and environmental performance of the integration of the thermally treated pellets production and co-feeding into the existing coal power plant under representative industrial conditions [WP5] and Maximize impact and market uptake of project results through adequate exploitation, dissemination and communication activities [WP1, WP6, WP7]

Actions to validate objective:

(A) Validate capital and production costs for the integration of the up-scaled thermally treated pellet production and co-feeding systems into the coal power plant, (B) Quantify the economic and environmental performance of the proposed integrated concept relative to specific European political targets and policy frameworks, (C) Identify stakeholders and develop and execute Engagement Plan (D) Develop and execute exploitation, dissemination and communication plans, (E) Develop business plan identifying precise number of European power plants and CHP’s that can be retrofitted directly with the ARBAHEAT concept and conduct activity campaigns