Weightron @ Biomass Power Plant

Posted in: , on 8. May. 2009 - 17:46

Weighbridge and vehicle management system plays important role at Biomass power plant

A driver-operated pit-mounted concrete weighbridge and comprehensive vehicle management system installed by Weightron Bilanciai Ltd is playing a pivotal role at Western Bioenergy’s new 15 MWe advanced combustion biomass power plant at Margam, South Wales. The Weightron system has been supplied via the consortium of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor a/s and Aalborg Energie Technik a/s who have designed and installed the complete plant.

The two hectare Longlands Lane site at Margam consists of the power plant, wood chipping and storage facilities and vehicle maneuvering areas. The plant, which is capable of producing an annual output of more than 110 million kWh of ‘green’ electricity, is connected directly into the local distribution network, providing enough electricity to power over 31,000 homes in the Port Talbot locality.

The scheme will make a substantial reduction in overall carbon dioxide output and its annual consumption of over 160,000 tonnes of Welsh forestry wood and clean saw mill residue is set to encourage economic development in rural areas as part of the overall long term plan to secure ‘supply side’ industry jobs. The ‘green’ nature of the overall process is completed by the off-site recycling of the spent ash for use as soil conditioner.

The 18 metre, 60 tonne capacity SBPMC concrete weighbridge, fitted with CPD digital load cells, is used for weighing incoming vehicles delivering the biomass fuel and those collecting the spent ash for recycling. The management system includes Weightron’s Visionweigh automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, Self800 driver operated weight terminal and Winweigh Connect software. These elements collectively provide an efficient and secure weighing procedure, providing important plant management data on raw material deliveries and waste ash collections. A moisture analysis system is linked in with the Winweigh system to provide moisture data for each delivery.

Incoming fuel can consist of deliveries of forestry wood or clean, uncontaminated chipping residues from wood processing. As vehicles approach the weighbridge, the ANPR system identifies if they are recorded in the database. Subject to positive identification, the vehicles can proceed onto the weighbridge. The moisture samples from each delivery are taken for analysis and the value of each load is adjusted accordingly. After the vehicles have emptied their loads, the weighing procedure is repeated to establish the net delivery weight and drivers are issued with a printed receipt. A similar, albeit reverse, process is carried out for empty vehicles arriving to collect the ash.

The SBPMC concrete weighbridge is ideal for such applications, providing a robust, maintenance free, weighing deck. The modular preformed steel structure, complete with reinforcing, is installed on site with dummy load cells and then in-filled with ready-mixed concrete. When this has cured, the stainless steel fully weld-sealed CPD load cells are fitted and the system calibrated. Digital load cells offer significant advantages in terms of calibration and troubleshooting, which can be carried out remotely. Such ‘pour on site’ installations reduce the overall transportation carbon footprint and on site craneage requirements.

Western Bioenergy’s David Fisher is pleased with the installation and concludes: “The overall weighing procedure is an integral part of our process and the adaptability of the Winweigh software has been invaluable enabling us to link the moisture sampling results to the weighing information from each delivery within the database.”

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