Biogas Plants. Construction and installation

The location along with the appropriate initial engineering design of a CHP biogas plant are key elements for its construction and its subsequent successful operation.

Under normal construction conditions, it takes between 9-15 months until a medium-sized biogas plant supplies its first kWh of renewable energy to the grid. It should be noticed that a significant proportion of the invested capital for the plant installation is dispensed to the installation area population, for its occupation as a labour and technical staff at the project.

The selection of the proper site to install a biogas plant is decisive for its effective operation. In a well-designed biogas plant, each operational parameter of the process must be optimized; from the type, amount and logistics of feedstock material to biogas production and anaerobic digestate management. Depending on the investor’s objectives and the local region development plan, the biogas plant can be installed either in a farm or inside an organized industrial area.

Since the commercial exploitation of the thermal power from the CHP system can provide further income the biogas plant owner, it is important to install the plant nearby to potential consumers of these thermal loads (e.g. agroindustrial facilities, central heating pipeline). Apart from the desirable accessibility to thermal energy consumers, a biogas plant must not be isolated due to the increase of the logistics and grid connection costs.

The plant erection can begin only after the licensing procedure has been successfully completed. In most of the cases, when the civil works for the site preparation have been accomplished, the reception tanks, the anaerobic digesters with their submerged mixers, the pumps and the piping connections, are gradually installed in the site. The installation of the biogas cleaning system follows and last, but not least, the CHP engine is placed. When the electrical and automation networks have been connected the plant is prepared to make its start up.

Apart from the proper biogas plant design and its high construction quality, the early and comprehensive information of the population which inhabits by the biogas plant is of highest concern. Any disagreements which may arise regarding the biogas project are generally attributed to the lack of proper information. The disturbances (e.g. odor, noise) which are provoked by a typical biogas plant are extremely low. On the contrary, it must be emphasized that the benefits which arise from the operational of the plant are much more important both for the environment and the local area population.

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