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First Authorized Representative Demo at Savona Combustion Laboratory, Italy
The Savona Combustion Laboratory (SCL) and the Dept. of Thermal Machines, Energy Systems and Transportation (DIMSET) is headed by Professor Ferruccio Pittaluga, and comprised of 10 associates, including professors, academic researchers, research assistants, and Ph.D. students. The laboratory is located north of the campus of the Savona School of Engineering, and is housed in an old hanger that was once part of a military compound. There are two sections within the building—the LF Area, which is devoted to liquid-fuel combustion systems, and the NGF Area, which is dedicated to natural gas fueled combustion systems testing.
Professor Pittaluga believes “to achieve efficient biomass-based energy generation careful selection of the thermo-chemical process must be taken into consideration.” The balance between the need for heat and electricity in each specific application determines whether gasification or direct combustion is the most appropriate technology for distributed CHP needs. DIMET/SCL is involved in both biomass gasification and direct combustion technologies. They monitor the operation of a Bevera 2.8MW steam-based power plant near Ventimiglia, and have two downdraft biomass gasifiers in their laboratory.
In 2006 SCL installed an Ankur 12kW downdraft gasifier and paired it with a Field Marshall engine. The Ankur gasifier was used for a number of years to do research on a mixture of biomass and coal dust. Shown below:
The 10kW Power Pallet was purchased from ALL Power Labs in the summer of 2012. The staff mentioned they preferred using the 10kW Power Pallet because it is a smaller and more efficient system, and one that does not produce wastewater through a gas scrubbing process. The Power Pallet has over 300 hours of operation since the demonstration in October.
Shown above: 10kW Power Pallet with Professor Pittaluga, in the center, joined by SCL students and Tecnoforest employees.
Savona Combustion Laboratory works in conjunction with Tecnoforest—an academic spin-off to pursue R&D activities. In the field of renewable energies SCL is developing an integrated strategy referred to as soil to engine that includes agronomy, thermo-chemistry conversion, and energy technology. The strategy takes into account all the steps that are necessary in order to achieve the so-called triple-E sustainability—Energy, Ecology, and Economy.
Tecnoforest is focusing on sustainable forestry. According to Professor Pittaluga, “High biodiversity, rapid growth forestation techniques, in order to achieve a substantial increase, is often critical for attaining economic sustainability.” The forestation modality is called consociated forestry—it features a great capacity of sequestering atmospheric carbon and producing high energy density wood. By applying this forestation pattern the expected yields are about 10 times higher than standard forestry based on poplar clones or other single-species forestry. Tecnoforest has a specialized rapid-growth wood-seed bank and an annexed biodynamic nursery for production of tree seedlings ready for transplanting.
Sequence of pictures: (A) Transplanting ; (B) After 18 months; (C) After 7 years: example of energy-rich rapid-growth forestry: test terrain at Bossarino, Vado Ligure (joint endeavor Tecnoforest and DIMSET/SCL)
The strategic objective of DIMSET/SCL is to develop a highly intelligent and synergic approach to energy that does not view renewable energies as an option that must exclude the use of fossil fuels, but as a complementary resource that can be made compatible with fossil fuel infrastructure. When they fulfill their mission, SCL may become known as “Sustainable” Combustion Laboratory for their efforts in this field.
Tecnoforest is collaborating with a company in Terni to assist with installation of Power Pallets purchased through their organization. This combined company will be overseeing the CE approval process in Italy. Tecnoforest will be hosting demonstrations of the Power Pallet on a monthly basis, providing technical information to customers about gasification and the Power Pallet, and also selling units.
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