Himoinsa’s 18 MW power plant with gas generator sets at the service of the West Midlands
18 MW of power at constant load for 2,500 hours per year. This is the output that the gensets of Himoinsa’s plant can supply to the electrical grid. Located in the central-western part of the British Isles, the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom has a high population density, close to three million people, and it is one of the most important commercial, healthcare and financial areas of the UK.
Considered a major development area, it saw a growing energy demand in recent years. In this context, power plants that support the public grid become the best solution to assume the constant increases in electricity demand. These plants developed towards a more sustainable productive model using environmentally friendly fuel that reduces carbon emissions, NOx, CO2 and particles. This is why, to contribute to sustainable development, Himoinsa and its local distributor Ocktcom, designed a power plant with nine gas generator sets connected in parallel to the grid.
The objective of the project was to release into the public grid a continuous flow of power to cover the growth of demand for electricity. The project also required the gas generator sets to activate immediately, to start up in a short period of time and to provide the grid with 100% of the installed power in a few minutes.
The generation plant is in an area close to a residential district, and because of that, there was a particular need of special solutions in terms of soundproofing able to avoid any acoustic impact.
The strategy behind the realization of the 18 MW plant
The main priority of Himoinsa and of its distributor Ocktcom was to choose the most sustainable and safe technology, ensuring the lowest possible acoustic and environmental emissions. The answer: generator sets with high power gas engines connected in parallel to generate stable power. In fact, these generators ensure an effective response to fluctuations in the power supply, generating 18 MW of power at constant load.
These generator sets are in containers with special ultra-soundproof insulation. Manuel Aguilera, Gas Product Manager at Himoinsa, said: «The results obtained even improve the limits set by the regulatory directive and thanks to the work we have carried out in collaboration with Ocktcom we have obtained record sound levels. I’d say it is most unlikely that they have ever been matched before in a plant with these characteristics».
Specially sized and soundproofed containers were used, that ensures a sound level of 65 dBA at a distance of 1 meter. In addition, there is a special double silencer exhaust system to ensure the sound level without affecting the operation of the engine.
The generator sets feature natural gas engines capable of providing 1,930 kW of power, with high mechanical resistance and low emission levels of particles, CO2, SOx and NOx: 250 mg/Nm3 of the latter at 100% of the load.
Himoinsa decided to use control units with integrated PLC that can guarantee a safe and efficient parallel connection between the groups and the grid, as well as their remote management by the plant user. In particular, this system makes it possible to coordinate the transfer of power into the grid to ensure a continuous supply.
A frequency converter can control the cooling system, which maximizes the electrical efficiency of the generator set by reducing its consumption to the minimum necessary at all times. The generator sets also feature a host of safety sensors (smoke, gas…) and they also have Atex emergency ventilation in the container, thereby guaranteeing safe ventilation of the cabin.