A new green project looking at how firms could use their own waste to cut their power bills and heat their premises has been launched at Ellesmere Port’s university campus.
California based energy generator Arensis and the University of Chester have teamed up to trial the use of a range of landfill wastes to generate combined heat and power at Thornton Science Park at Ince.
The aim is to discover which refuse, including commercial waste, can be redirected from landfill to create electricity and heat to be used directly by the business which has thrown it out.
Organisations would then use their own on site converters to transform waste otherwise bound for landfill to generate clean power and heat for their own purposes.
The purpose of the three year trial is to find which rubbish works best. It will involve a biomass converter housed in a shipping container to study the output of the converted energy.
The converter, from an Arensis sister company, can generate 25kW of electricity and 60kW of heat from a range of waste.
During the trial a three-year PhD student will have access to a biomass converter onsite at Thornton on loan from the Drax power plant in Yorkshire.
Garfield Southall, executive dean of the university’s faculty of science and engineering at Thornton, explained that renewables are playing ‘an increasing part’ in the provision of energy.
The project will study how solar energy, energy storage and combined heat and power can work together to explore what the energy systems of the future will look like.
It will also trial different sources of waste and their efficiencies for producing combined heat and power.
Julien Uhlig, chief executive officer of Arensis, said the company was ‘excited to be lending our equipment and expertise to the project’.
He suggested: “A hotel operator, for example, could use an onsite biomass converter to turn their commercial waste, compost and rubbish otherwise bound for landfill into electricity to reduce their power bills and into heat to warm their premises.”