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Dargan Road Landfill

Customer

Renewable Power Solutions Ltd (RPS)

Location

Dargan Road Landfill Site, Belfast

Customer Requirement

Landfill gas powered electricity generation to sell back to the local grid

Services

Equipment supply, ancillary equipment, project management, commissioning, maintenance, genuine parts supply

Power Need

Belfast City Council identified a former landfill site - Dargan Road – as a redevelopment opportunity and proposed to create a landmark public park on the 220 acre site.

Giant's Park went into operation in the summer of 2009. When complete the park will include sports fields, a nature reserve, educational facility and a festival space. Renewable Power Systems Ltd (RPS), were tasked to make use of the landfill gas, still given-off from the decomposing waste on site, to produce 'green' electricity that could be exported into the local grid.

Solution

To produce electricity, the methane rich landfill gas is collected from a network of gas wells and pipes. The gas is then pumped into purpose built generators to convert to electricity.

RPS approached Caterpillar dealer Finning (UK) Ltd to provide power generation and ancillary equipment, to run this innovative ‘green’ project. Setting up and remotely monitoring the site were also required of Finning, who has extensive experience and expertise of producing energy from waste for a number of landfill operators.

Five Caterpillar® G3516A generator sets were supplied to produce the renewable power. Each generator is rated at 1150kW, thus providing a combined output of up to 5.5MW of continuous power to the local grid. The 16-cylinder engine provides 37.9 percent engine efficiency at full load.

Each gas-powered generator is operated by a floor standing synchronization control system, which can synchronize manually or automatically to the grid. This control system is designed to monitor, control and protect Caterpillar generator sets through Human Machine Interface (HMI) on site and remotely.

Landfill gas has lower methane content than natural gas, so the generators were configured to suit the different Lower Heat Value (LHV) of the fuel and respond to fluctuations in fuel quality.

Landfill applications are challenging due to the fuel containing corrosive gas contaminants such as siloxanes and halides. These impurities must be monitored, with a maintenance program tailored to suit each landfill site. Finning will also provide the ongoing operation and maintenance customer support to ensure a reliable long term solution.

Results

Optimising renewable energy brings not only environmental benefits but also economical. Using a sustainable energy source such as landfill gas means harmful methane is not released into the atmosphere, thus having a positive effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Making use of an energy source that would otherwise be wasted can also have revenue-generating potential.

The former Dargan Road landfill will generate electricity from methane gas for up to 20 years, producing five million watts of 'green' electricity for export to the local grid. By selling electricity to the grid the investment will produce income for the city council and could provide power to as many as 6000 households in the area