Development and Demonstration of Distributed Biomass CHP Microgrid Systems

All Power Labs, Inc.

Recipient

Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

15th

Assembly District

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$270,318

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

The Issue

California continues to experience the impacts of climate change with worsening wildfires, tree mortality, and droughts. Microgrids can provide reliability and resilience, while also increasing the share of renewable generation, will be critical to help overcome these challenges. The integration of biomass generators into a standardized and scalable microgrid has not been accomplished, leaving a technological gap around the physical and control architecture required to carry out such a project, while also leaving a dearth of knowledge about the relevant regulatory landscape under which such projects must be implemented.

Project Innovation

The Recipient will develop a novel dispatchable multi-model microgrid utilizing the CHP PP30 Power Pallet to address grid resilience, wildfire mitigation, and disaster relief using woody biomass such as woodchips. The design allows the addition of microgrid containers to increase capacity and match loads to the specific application. Each microgrid container will be sized to 50 kW of power generation and will consist of two PP30 Power Pallets, one L00120 Energy Port Battery System, two Oztek RS40 bi-directional inverters, and an Ageto Microgrid Control System. The containerized microgrid will be grid connected, offsetting grid electricity during operating hours. In the event that the grid goes down, the microgrid will be able to island as a single controllable entity under the command of the microgrid controller, which will isolate the containers from the grid and provide renewable backup power. The project will standardize a small-scale, highly scalable, low-cost microgrid configuration that will address the specific needs of disadvantaged communities and demonstrate the configuration's commercial viability and replicability.

Project Benefits

This Agreement will build upon the successful CEC-funded development of an innovative biomass combined cooling heat and power (CCHP) PP30 system. The proposed work will develop a multi-modal, dispatchable DER microgrid solution that is modular and scalable. Specific advancements include improving system's capacity by expanding feedstock flexibility, reducing operator interactions for startup and shutdown, improving ease of utility interconnection, provision of power by integrating inverter and battery technologies into a containerized system, and achieving UL compliance. The current generation PP30 will be upgraded to a PP30 v3.0 release and utilized in a Containerized Biomass Microgrid Pilot unit. The system will deliver electricity and heat. It will also deliver biochar, which can be sequestered in agricultural soils.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

This waste-to-energy containerized microgrid uses woody biomass feedstocks such as woodchips, walnut shells, and palm kernal shells. This biomass gasifier produces biochar that can be used as a soil amendment that sequesters carbon. This project includes assessment of biochar produced in standalone mode and through extended equipment operation run time to collect performance test data.

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