Award-Winning “Green Village” in Alfhausen: Two MWM Gas Engines Produce Sustainable Energy from Biomethane for the Local Heat Network
Mannheim, September 29, 2022
An innovative energy project is currently being rolled out in Alfhausen in Germany’s Osnabrück Land region. The project demonstrates how it will be possible to implement smart, flexible heat supply in the future. Two containerized cogeneration power plants, each of which is powered by an MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas engine, form the core of the project. The Alfhausen cogeneration power plant is the first of three biomethane district heat projects to be rolled out in the Osnabrück region. Even before the go-live, the Alfhausen cogeneration power plant won an award as a lighthouse project for outstanding climate protection projects as part of the overall “Green Village” concept.
MWM Gas Engines Form Core of the Alfhausen District Heat Network
In the fall of 2022, the new Alfhausen cogeneration power plant will start producing heat and power for the local population. The plant is based in Alfhausen’s new industrial zone “Am Waller Esch”, opposite the local transformer station. Thus, it will be possible to feed the power produced by the MWM gas engines through combined heat and power (CHP) generation directly into the public power grid. The heat generated by the engines will be transported to the connected homes in Alfhausen through a pipeline network.
The district heat network in Alfhausen was set up by Rasche & Weßler GmbH, a local company specialized in energy management and automation technology. The concept is based on the use of biomethane as a regenerative energy source and fuel for the MWM gas engines. Biomethane, which is produced by treating biogas, is a renewable energy source that is capable of replacing natural gas, a fossil energy source. The gas comes from the natural gas network of Westnetz GmbH in Osnabrück. Additionally, biogas from various biogas plants in Germany is fed into the natural gas network at another location. In this way, the natural gas becomes “eco-gas”, which is used as fuel for the gas engine. Apart from the new plant, the industrial zone also hosts a hot water storage tank with a capacity of approximately 2,500 m3. The water will be heated using the exhaust heat of the two MWM gas engines and be transported to the individual homes through the district heat network. In the event of a cogeneration power plant outage or unexpected cold spells, the storage facility can be used as an additional buffer in order to continue to supply Alfhausen with heat for several days.
“From The Outset, We Knew That We Were Going to Deploy MWM Gas Engines”
The 19-km district heat network is being set up by Rasche & Weßler GmbH. The development started in 2021 and is to be ready for operation by the end of 2023. The two TCG 3020 V20 gas engines were delivered by Caterpillar Energy Solutions in Mannheim, Germany. Since a TCG 3020 V20 gas engine delivers an electrical output of 2,300 kW, the cogeneration power plant has a total output of 4.6 MW. “From the outset, we knew that we were going to deploy MWM gas engines”, says Ralf Wessler, Managing Partner at Rasche & Weßler GmbH. “We are familiar with the technology, and we know that the large engines from Mannheim are very reliable and powerful. Another important criterion is the quick and comprehensive service provided by MWM, which guarantees high plant availability.”
From the start, the sustainable, trend-setting supply concept in Alfhausen has been attracting a lot of attention. In recent months, the demand for district heat network connections underwent a sharp increase. Up to 1,000 homes can be supplied through the district heat network. Thanks to the cooperation with Glasfaser Nordwest, it was possible to implement the district heat network without redundant construction measures. The result: a climate-friendly infrastructure.
CHP Flagship Project with Pioneer Function
The overall “Green Village” concept with the Alfhausen energy plant, which won an award in the “Klima Kommunal 2022” contest, is the first of three CHP generation projects implemented in the vicinity of Osnabrück. In Fürstenau, 25 km from Alfhausen, an identical district heat plant is being built and is set to go live in 2023. Another 9-MW biomethane plant is being planned just a few miles from the Alfhausen plant.
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