Wood chip drying in connection with combined heat and power or solar energy in Finland
Department of Energy, Aalto University, PL 14100, 00076 Aalto, Finland
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
Published online: 10 December 2014
20% of the Finnish district heating (DH) power plant fuels are wood-based and the share is increasing. The wood fuel demand probably exceeds the potential supply in the future. The wood fuel drying with waste heat is one profitable opportunity to gain more wood fuel. If the drying energy can be produced with lower primary energy use than combusting the fuel directly, the drying potentially improves the system efficiency. In this study, the drying feasibility in the connection of a combined heat and power (CHP) system, possibly with solar collectors, is calculated. The wood fuel heating can be increased profitably by 6%, using the heat from CHP for drying only when the marginal cost of the heat is low enough, i.e. the electricity price is high enough and there is free capacity after the DH demand. Although the drying is profitable, a larger heat storage can also increase the annual result similarly. The best investment choice depends on the plant properties. Here the optimal system enables 20% DH production cost savings. Solar heat may be profitable, when the solar heat has a 2–3% share of the annual heat demand. However, the dryer or larger storage tank are more profitable investments.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.