Guide: The biomass power supply of the Drax Power Plant in the United Kingdom has exceeded 13 billion kWh for three consecutive years, and its annual biomass fuel consumption has exceeded 7 million tons, and the daily consumption of biomass fuel is about 25,000 tons.
The biomass power supply of the Drax Power Plant in the United Kingdom has exceeded 13 billion kWh for three consecutive years, and its annual biomass fuel consumption has exceeded 7 million tons, and the daily consumption of biomass fuel is about 25,000 tons. Relying on automobile transportation is far from being able to meet its needs. Then, compared with the coal-carrying train, what are the special characteristics of the biomass-fueled train?
In the past few decades or even nearly a hundred years, this situation has been like this day after day: pulling open rail cars full of coal to large coal-fired power plants, because coal is a necessary fuel for the operation of power plants. But with the advent of the era of clean and low-carbon energy, the world is gradually shifting from fossil fuels with high pollution and high carbon emissions to renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies. Once the largest carbon emission project in Western Europe, the fuel of the British Drax 6*660MW power plant is also changing, from coal to biomass fuel. After March 2020, the Drax Power Plant has stopped using coal for power generation, and 4 of its 6 660MW units have used 100% biomass fuel.
After the fuel transformation of the Drax power plant, the fuel transportation train still arrives every day, but it is no longer a train that transports coal, but a train that pulls biomass fuel. This kind of biomass fuel train is bigger than any kind of train on the British railway, because the transportation of biomass fuel and the transportation of coal are significantly different. In order to transport more than 20,000 tons of biomass fuel to the power station every day, this requires a new and specialized railway truck, a freight train with more space and safety. For this reason, a train dedicated to transporting biomass fuel was born.
The first problem to be solved is the roof of the carriage. Each freight car is designed with a pneumatic car roof, which can be opened and closed as required, which provides convenience for loading and provides proper protection for particles during transportation. At the same time, a similar system is installed at the bottom of each carriage to make unloading equally easy.
When the train arrives at the Drax power plant, the automatic flaps on the lower part of the carriage will be opened in stages as they pass through the biomass unloading area. This will release the biomass pellets into a sorter, and then send the biomass fuel through the transport line The storage warehouse of the power plant, ready for production. With this system, each train can be unloaded within 40 minutes.
Another big problem is how to overcome the space problem. The tunnels and bridges of the British railway system are usually built very early, some even in the Victorian era. These are the most restrictive railway systems in the world. But in order to obtain a biomass fuel load efficiency similar to the previous coal transportation, the train carriage requires a larger volume. In the end, the capacity of the biomass pellet transport carriage is 116m3, which is almost 30% more than the coal transport vehicle. They are not only the first custom-made biomass fuel transport vehicles in history, but also the largest trains on British Railways, which also means better economy. Railways have always been part of large power plants, and they will most likely always be for the foreseeable future.