Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Garbage Power II: Electric Boogaloo

Today we visited the Returkraft Incineration Plant, just outside the port city of Kristiansand. Like the Vestforbraending plant we visited last week in Denmark, this plant takes in all the garbage from the surrounding communities and turns it into sustainable electricity and steam for district heating.

Today we visited the Returkraft Incineration Plant, just outside the port city of Kristiansand. Like the Vestforbraending plant we visited last week in Denmark, this plant takes in all the garbage from the surrounding communities and turns it into sustainable electricity and steam for district heating.
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The fuel bunker.
This plant is a bit smaller than the one we visited in Denmark, only burning 17-18 tons of waste per hour and producing 12 MW of electricity from it, which is about the same amount produced by the hydroelectric plant at St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis.

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The top of the main boiler of the plant. Since it expands by almost a foot when it heats up, the entire boiler is suspended from the ceiling!

When this facility was built, the municipalities that own it decided to be models of sustainability for the whole of Europe, so the plant was built with extremely effective emissions controls. For more than a dozen different types of pollutants, it emits less than a hundredth of the allowable amount set by the European Union. When we were inside, we saw that nearly half the volume of the huge building was devoted to flue gas scrubbers like the one below.
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One of the three stages of cleaners that the exhaust gas passes through before being released.

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A view into the heart of the giant boiler at the heart of the plant.

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