Renewable Energy

DYNOP – Dynamic Optimization

The aim of the project is to produce energy in a cleaner and more efficient way.






Project manager at MDU

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Description of the project

This project focuses on more efficient control of combined heat and power generation using a biomass boiler. The biomass fuel (mainly wood), which is burnt to produce heat and electricity, has variable properties, and this is a big challenge in optimizing the process. A change in the properties of the fuel affects the amount of energy that can be produced and the way the system needs to be controlled in order to operate in the best way. Therefore, in order to achieve the aim of the project, the properties of the fuel that comes into the boiler will be determined in real-time. This will be done with a camera that uses infrared light to provide chemical information about the fuel and is linked to a model that calculates the moisture and heating value of the fuel from the chemical information. These properties will then be used to control how the fuel is burnt in the boiler.

Another challenge is the control of pollutant emissions to the environment, particularly nitrogen oxides (NOx). This is done with the use of ammonia, that converts nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and water, which are harmless. The ammonia injection system will be optimized in the project. A tool diagnosing the cause of different faults that arise during the operation of the system will also reduce maintenance cost and maintenance time for the boiler. All the different aspects developed during the project will come together in a system that will support the operator of the unit and suggest the best operation strategy and the most cost-efficient and energy-efficient solution to a problem. The different parts will communicate with each other, learn from their experience automatically, and be trained continuously in order to improve the operation of the system.

The project will be carried out by the university in cooperation with four companies, one specializing in the characterization of the biomass fuel (Bestwood AB), one specializing in the control of processes (First Control AB), and two energy production companies: Eskilstuna Strangnäs Energi och Miljö AB and Enköping Energi AB, which will provide the location where the system will be tested, in two different boilers. Some of the expected benefits from the project are the reduction of waste of chemicals, energy, and raw material due to poor control of the system, and the reduction of pollutant emissions to the environment.