50 kWe Demonstration Gasifier Starts at Mt. Wachusett Community College, Massachusetts
Rob Rizzo, Mount Wachusett Community College, October 30, 2006
A 50 kWe Community Power Corporation gasifier began operation at Mt. Wachusett Community College. The system will operate on wood chips from the existing school heating plant. The school teaches forestry and wood utilization and will use the gasifier to demonstrate wood use for energy.
The engine-generator will supply about 30% of the electrical load of the heating plant. Provision is made to sell eletricity to the grid through Net Metering. The current limit for net metering in the state of Massachusetts is 60 kWe. Waste heat from the engine will be used in the existing heating system. The engine-generator is expected to meet emissions standards for small stationary generators.
The school converted to wood heat from electricity in 2002 when it installed an 8,000 pph (2.5 MWth)Messersmith fuel and combustion system with a Hurst boiler. Fuel is taken from the existing fuel system, screened and dried and fed to the gasifier.