Wood gas cogeneration plant

Senden, Germany

- 40.000 tCO² /Jahr

First Mover

Key data

This innovative plant emits around 40,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide per year than comparable plants fired by natural gas.

This new procedure carbonises about 40,000 tonnes of untreated wood at high temperatures. During this process, the wood disintegrates, producing the actual fuel for the cogeneration plant: wood gas. This gas is burned, and the SWU, one of Ulm’s public utility companies, uses cogeneration to produces electricity and heat with two gas engines.
The electrical efficiency is above average (33%). By using the exhaust gases, the plant achieves a thermal efficiency of 47%. The plant therefore achieves a high overall efficiency, with around 80% of the energy input being converted to electricity and heat.
The wood is sourced from forest and landscape conservation work, as well as driftwood from hydroelectric power plants. The wood is stored in three silos, each about 13 metres high. A fourth silo is for drying wood chips. The wood carburettor itself is a steel tank about eleven metres tall and three in diameter. The two gas engines (cogeneration units) produce electricity – enough to power 10,000 medium-sized households. The heat is fed into the district heat network.


Services provided:
  • Planning and engineering
  • Transformers
  • Low-voltage distribution
  • UPS supply
  • Emergency power generators
  • DC power supply
  • MCC switchgear
  • Automation cabinets
  • E-installation/wiring
  • Fire detection system
  • PCS7 process control system
  • Commissioning
  • Power plant marking system

Control system used:
Siemens S7-417 4HF (highly available and fail-proof)

Visualisation programme/process control technology:
Siemens PCS7 V7.1