Carbo Consult & Engineering (Pty) Ltd, System Johansson Gas Producers, South Africa
Gero Eckermann, CEO replies to questions about the Carbon Consult Gasifier
1. What is the current population of your operating gasifiers?
From the 17 (including Gustaf’s) sold at about one / year, 7 of the later ones are still in operation, but this will hopefully change drastically once my comments in 7. (below) materialize.
2. Specifically, where are they?
3 in Japan, 3 in South Africa and 1 Demo unit in Namibia.
3. What fuels do they use?
Wood blocks (mainly Eucalyptus Camaldulensis and African invader bush) and briquetted sawdust / agricultural waste.
4. What is their peak operating capacity? (kWe/kWhth)
Depending on Gasifier type, our currently biggest unit (450Nm³/h) has an output of 255kWe (with a turbocharged Genset) and 684kWth.
5. At what capacity are they typically operated? (KWe/KWhth)
As per 4.
6. What is their typical capacity factor (operating hours per year at full load equivalent(kWe)/8760 hours)
The users run one to two shifts/day, but the design allows 24/7 operation at max load.
7. What new projects are in the pipeline?
We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline in South Africa, but our national utility (Eskom) and NERSA (national energy regulator) are dragging their heals in promulgating feed-in tariffs. This has been going on for two years, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and investors are getting ready to finally climb on board.
Or, where is the industry headed?
Our Government has reaffirmed its commitment to go for and support RE (renewable energy) projects.
More small scale?
Yes, in our RE field, up to 2 to 3MWe, and large scale for wind, hydro, solar and other RE technologies like PV.
Yes, for rural off grid community upliftment. Higher capacity? A mix of min 1MWe up to multi MWe for feeding into the national grid.
Our “playing field” is in all those categories by paralleling our 450Nm³/h (255kWe) units from 0.5MWe to max 3MWe. We are limiting plants to 3MWe for feedstock logistics reasons --- thumb rule is 1kg biomass = 1kWe, meaning that the hourly consumption of 3tons (72tons/24hrs) is currently a self-imposed limit in our local feedstock scenario.
Gero Eckermann, CEO
CARBO CONSULT & ENGINEERING (Pty) LTD
13 Alphen Square South
845 Sixteenth Road
Midrand / Johannesburg 1685
P.O. Box 1397, Cramerview 2060