Houweling’s Installs 10.6 MW CHP, Capturing Carbon for Fertilizer

by | Aug 23, 2012

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Houweling’s Tomatoes has installed a GE combined heat and power greenhouse project that captures CO2 for use in plant fertilization.

The companies say the system — which provides 8.7 MW of electrical power and 10.6 MW of thermal power for heating the 125-acre glass greenhouse — is the first greenhouse CHP project in the US. GE has installed more than 800 gas-engine CHP units in greenhouses globally, representing about 2 GW of power generation plus CO2 fertilization systems.

The system’s total thermal efficiency is about 90 percent, according to GE.

Additionally, greenhouse owner Casey Houweling says his Camarillo, Calif.-based company – one of the top five tomato growers in North America – will use the water condensed out of the exhaust gas in its operations, which will prevent the company drawing about 9,500 gallons per day from local water sources.

The system uses GE’s J624 two-staged turbocharged gas engines for the 60 Hz segment — the first 24-cylinder gas engine for commercial power generation sold in the US. GE says the J624, which it introduced in 2007, is also the first gas engine featuring double turbocharging, which makes it more efficient. One Jenbacher J624 can save about 10,700 tons of CO2 per year, GE says, compared to the average grid CO2 production in the US.

In June, beverage company Diageo installed two GE Jenbacher CHP units at its Guiness breweries in Ogba and Benin City, Nigeria.

Western Energy Systems, GE’s authorized US distributor of Jenbacher gas engines, engineered and installed the Houweling’s cogeneration plant, which will help move California toward its goal of 4,000 MW of new CHP generation in the state by 2020, with 1990 as a baseline.

Additionally, Houweling’s says it has invested in a COdiNOx-Selective Catalytic Reduction system to minimize emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and toxic air contaminants. The NOx emissions have been limited to a maximum concentration level of 5 ppmv. This represents a reduction from Houweling’s current boilers, which are limited to a maximum of 40 ppmv NOx.

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