Lemene – fuel cell supported smart grid project in Finland
The goal of the project is to create a low carbon and energy self-sufficient business district . The result of the project is to supply combined heat and power from renewable energy resources approximately to 50 businesses using only low carbon technologies. Hybrid utility microgrid is an example of power infrastructure modernization, providing resilient, uninterrupted and clean energy for a new area.
Low-carbon energy generation
The unique LEMENE project showcases low-carbon energy generation, energy storage and smart controls, combining to provide a self-sufficient district energy solution. The LEMENE system has been highlighted by the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) as an energy solution that can help Finland achieve its national targets and those set by the European Union for 2030.
Power infrastructure modernization
Also the Lemene project is a prime example of bottom-up approach of power infrastructure modernization where a combination of technologies facilitates local production of energy in ways that are economical, sustainable and improve systemic resilience.
Reduction of primary energy consumption
The direct economic benefits of microgrids result from improving overall energy efficiency by reducing primary energy consumption and by aligning consumption better with availability of zero marginal cost solar energy.
High efficiency and low emissions
Fuel cell systems’ role is to produce electricity and heat continuously. Base load operating mode maximizes benefits of high efficiency and low emissions of SOFC’s. Modularity of SOFCs makes possible future capacity increase flexibility.
Fuel Cell systems
Elcogen has teamed up with fuel cell system developer Convion to power two combined heat and power (CHP) systems with a total electrical output of 116kW. Convion’s fuel cell systems use Elcogen’s next generation of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and stack technology.
- Reliable and dependable power generation
- Non-existing emissions of NOx, SOx, PM, VOC or noise.
- 60% electrical efficiency
- By waste heat recovery 80% of total efficiency
- Able to produce high voltage DC power with direct integration to energy storage systems. Also avoiding intermediary steps of conversion and enable load shifting functionality.
Solar panels and Biogas
The hybrid grid will also be powered by a 4MW solar photovoltaic array, 8MW biogas engine and a battery to deliver a secure and reliable power supply.
The LEMENE project lasts two years, from summer of 2017 to fall of 2019. In 2018, the first solar panels and gas engines along with the fuel cells and battery will be set up and put into operation. The whole energy system will be complete and fully operating in summer of 2019. First results will be published in the end of 2019.
Elcogen CEO Enn Õunpuu said:
“We’re excited that Elcogen’s next generation fuel cell technology is at the heart of this renewable energy smart grid system that can demonstrate how to decarbonize Europe’s energy markets and deliver self-sufficiency for residential and commercial power.
“This key renewable energy project will serve as an exceptional opportunity to explore how a larger scale smart grid functions in conjunction with the current electricity market, while generating 100 per cent renewable power from solar and bio-gas sources.”
” It is also important to highlight that this project is based upon the good results of EU’s Horizon2020 / Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking projects INNO-SOFC (671403), qSOFC (725160), and NELLHI (621227).”
Convion CEO Erkko Fontell said:
“The LEMENE project provides us a great opportunity to demonstrate highly efficient and clean power generation based on Convion fuel cell products. The project is a unique example of a future power solution, where requirements for energy efficiency, power security and sustainability are met.
“It shows how Convion fuel cells can be part of future smart grids, where different energy sources and a network of distributed solutions revolutionise how we produce electricity.”
Lempäälä Energia CEO Toni Laakso said:
“The LEMENE system will operate mainly as part of the public electrical grid but can also operate as a supporting reserve system for the public electrical grid, or independently off-grid, on demand.
“The LEMENE smart grid will feature a variety of smart technologies that will respond to changing electric demand, enabled by automation solutions adapted to the micro-grid. An important part of the project is to secure energy availability as renewable energy production varies.
“In conjunction with the solar array and battery storage, the LEMENE system also required a highly-efficient combined heat and power system from Convion that would convert biogas to generate electricity and heat to supply nearby businesses.”