Finning provides CHP to Briar Chemicals 01 December 2023

Finning Briar Chemicals

Finning has claimed it has helped Briar Chemicals self-generate nearly 80% of power demands at a facility in Norwich via a combined heat and power (CHP) unit.

The CHP will be upgraded to run on a blend of hydrogen once the UK government rolls out its UK hydrogen strategy and blends green or blue hydrogen in or alongside the natural gas network.

Given the energy intensive nature of chemicals manufacturing, power costs are a significant expenditure for Briar Chemicals. With continued high energy prices, the company enlisted design engineers Inspec Systems to help explore alternatives for the replacement of the old gas turbine CHP.

Iain Sinclair, procurement manager at Briar Chemicals, said: “We recognised that it was time to look at cheaper and more environmentally friendly ways of generating power. But this would only be viable if a solution could be found that did not impact on our productivity.”

Inspec Systems identified that the construction of a new reciprocating engine CHP system would provide Briar with the low emission energy it needed and enlisted Finning to help conduct feasibility studies on the best configuration and Best Available Technique (BAT). This required detailed analysis and assessment of the site’s heating and power demand to ensure not only reliability but also efficiency and therefore the maximum possible energy savings.

Scott Tamplin, sales manager at Finning, said: “Sizing CHP is a complex balance of understanding bespoke site characteristics for power consumption, heat utilisation, heat temperatures and pressures, whilst trying to configure a system that is not only compatible for the site with simple, non-invasive interfaces but delivers sustainability and integrity whilst maintaining resilience of services for the factory production team.”

This feasibility process allowed Finning and Inspec Systems to specify the CHP generator details fuelled by low carbon natural gas, which would provide Briar with 2MWe of low carbon electricity and steam. To achieve this, the generator was installed into a bespoke acoustically controlled container to manage noise levels, as well as being fitted with an 18 bar steam raising boiler connected to the CHP’s exhaust system. Heat from the engine jacket was also captured and fed into the boiler feedwater system, which also increased the overall CHP coefficient of performance (COP) efficiencies to meet stringent CHP quality assurance measurements and financial incentives.

The Finning team is working with Briar to develop a bespoke service and maintenance agreement to extend equipment life and maximise the investment.

Sinclair concluded: “We are now able to benefit from a highly efficient CHP system that means we have significantly lowered our environmental footprint and energy bills and have the peace of mind that this is backed by expert support from Finning when needed.”

Operations Engineer

Related Companies
Briar Chemicals Ltd
Finning (UK) Ltd

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