Currently the equivalent of 1.7 million barrels of oil rots to nothing each year, along with the GST and income tax potential, on the flat forests of the Central North Island – the stumps, old branches and leaves of trees left behind after they are cut for logging. Compacted, this detritus could provide a cheap, clean and efficient energy to burn at specialist energy plants.
Woody biomass for heat and power holds a large potential as a source of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. It provides us with one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources, with the carbon dioxide released during the combustion of the biomass getting converted into carbohydrates and oxygen -photosynthesis - when plants and trees grow. It is a renewable fuel that is already widely, and often economically available throughout New Zealand.
Other wood residues may include storm damaged trees (hog fuel), mill residues such as chipped bark, chip rejects and sawdust. Additional sources potentially include urban wood residues such as construction and demolition debris, pallets and packaging materials, tree trimmings, urban land clearing debris and agricultural waste like vine prunings.
In times of rising costs for energy, and with oil and gas reserves diminishing, alternative energy forms are becoming increasingly important. Sustainable energy systems like biomass boiler plants provide us with clean energy and the utilized fuels are readily available and plentiful.
Polytechnik Biomass Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of advanced combustion solutions, heat and power plants and emission control systems.
The Polytechnik group has its head office in Austria with 95 per cent of its business activity occurring in other countries. It employs around 450 people worldwide with subsidiaries inter alia in Switzerland, France, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
The company offers technology for the utilisation of biomass residues for energy generation. It distinguishes itself from other suppliers with high efficiency and availability, fuel flexibility, complete combustion and lowest emissions.
Polytechnik engineers, supplies and installs biomass-fired boilers with a thermal output ranging from 300 kW to 30,000 kW (single unit output). Depending on the available fuel, various combustion systems and combinations can be employed. Hot water, saturated and superheated steam or thermal oil is used to transfer the energy. For power production steam turbines with a standard electrical output from 200 kW to 20,000 kW per turbine generator are available. As an alternative Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC) using a thermal oil boiler instead of a costly steam boiler are also available.
Through continuous research and development and monitoring over 2,500 energy plant installations, Polytechnik provides its customers with state-of-the-art technology for the utilisation of biomass for energy generation. Polytechnik’s energy plants service many industries such as forestry and timber, energy, food and dairy, horticulture as well as in schools and hospitals.
Polytechnik’s first New Zealand boiler plant will arrive next month in Christchurch replacing two old and inefficient coal boilers at a nursery in Christchurch. The plant was designed to utilise forest residues and green hog fuel and the client is looking forward to gain from fuel savings in the order of $120,000 to $150,000 a year - depending on coal, biomass and carbon tax price.