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CHP of the year

6/27/2018 | Words: Nina Felicitas Kunzi | Pictures: Ponnath

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Electricity to cover baseload, steam for meat and sausage production, and refrigeration power for foodstuffs: The combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) system which has been in operation at MASTER BUTCHERS Ponnath meat processing plant in Kemnath, northern Bavaria since April 2016 is meeting all expectations very efficiently. That was the verdict reached by German CHP trade association Bundesverband Kraft-Wärme-Kopplung e.V. and trade journal Energie & Management who named the installation “CHP Plant of the Year 2017” in March of this year.

At the heart of the co-generation plant is a natural-gas-fired CHP installation supplied by MTU Onsite Energy. Powered by a V12 MTU Series 4000 engine, it delivers 1,287 kWh of power, covering the meat factory's baseload energy needs. Meat producer Ponnath manufactures around 120 metric tons of meat and sausage products per day. Now, not even a power outage is capable of stopping production at the autonomous facility. The installation also uses a waste heat steam boiler to produce 760 kg of saturated steam per hour at 8.5 bars of pressure. This is used in the manufacture of the company's sausage specialties. The built-in absorption chiller also generates up to 550 kW of refrigeration power, which is used to chill foodstuffs down to -10°C.

“With an eye to economic feasibility, the people who constructed this year's CHP Plant of the Year exploited the full depth of technical possibilities,” said the five-member panel of judges, explaining its decision. The panel was especially impressed by the plant's flexible power delivery capability. “With its high efficiency, this plant is not only set to deliver lower energy bills long-term, it's also incredibly efficient from an environmental point of view,” said Gabi Markert, a member of the trade association's board of management. The power plant is reducing CO2 emissions by around 1,800 metric tons per year, equivalent to a 30% saving over conventional generation.

The CCHP plant was designed by energy institute Institut für Energietechnik IfE GmbH at the East Bavarian University of Applied Sciences in Amberg-Weiden in collaboration with Ponnath, whose roots as a family-run butchery business run back to 1692. The award-winning energy project received grants of EUR 800k from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

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