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Hybrid wind-biomass system for rural electricity generation



The concept of using renewable energy sources is finding more favour due to the growing concern of global pollution and its affect on the environment. This project is aimed at providing an energy supply that will support a small local area and itself be supported by the local community in terms of feedstock. The quality and availability of this supply are therefore of paramount importance as the quality of life will be directly affected. The system is designed to operate without any form of energy storage or reliance on fossil derived fuels hence if can be viewed as a green alternative.

Technical Approach

The project is concerned with the integration of 3 renewable forms of energy. A wind turbine is to be built forming the primary source of power. When the wind is inadequate to meet the load demands, it can be supplemented or substituted by an engine generator set. The engine can be fuelled by either an anaerobic digester generating biogas or a wood gasifier. The engine will be a co-generation set providing both electrical power and hot water. Both these power sources can be used on the University and farm complex, or dissipated to a controlled load to simulate any demand profile. The wind turbine can be substituted by a simulator to represent a range of wind turbine characteristics and wind regimes. Feedstock for the gasifier will be supplied by a short rotation coppice plantation on the farm with other farm waste being used in the anaerobic digester. The system will be automatically controlled to match power output to demand. It is envisaged that the system will be capable of running in a duel mode. In the stand alone mode it will supply energy to the local community. As a grid connected system it will be used to export electricity to the local weak grid. This will provide a demonstration of the potential benefits for this energy generation approach.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The project upon completion will provide a working system that is integrated into the local area. Experimental data will be obtained and used to further develop this system while sufficient flexibility is retained to accommodate any new concepts.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


De Montfort University
The Gateway
LE1 9BH Leicester
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

Loughborough University
United Kingdom
Ashby Road
LE11 3TU Loughborough
C/ Maria De Luna 3
50015 Zaragoza
6,Rue Des Sables De Sary 160
45770 Saran