The company Industrias Conserveras Orbe will save €657,572 over 12 years by installing a biomass boiler to produce steam at its new facilities in Ponte Caldelas, Pontevedra. Thanks to Grupo Aresol, Orbe will generate the steam required for its productive process from an efficient biomass boiler, resulting in significant economic savings as well as helping reduce CO2 emissions and creating new jobs relating to the supply and operation of the new power plant.

Technological innovation and energy saving

Orbe, one of the leading canning companies in the province of Pontevedra, inaugurated its new facilities this past April, also announcing its imminent entry into service after 18 months of continuous work to get everything ready. This factory is dedicated to the production of canned foods, producing 25 million tins per year of seafood, shellfish and fish products that are exported to two continents. 60% is sold in Spain, while the rest reaches markets including the USA, Germany, the UK, France, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico.

The new factory has represented a challenge for the company that has aimed to achieve a cutting-edge facility based on renewable energy and energy savings equipped with the latest technology in the canning sector. Its innovative features include the wood chip biomass boiler that offers environmental benefits, with nearly-zero CO2 emissions and a saving of 65% when compared to conventional energy sources. It has also incorporated a curtain wall, high density polycarbonate panels, low-emission glazing and an envelope around the entire premises that allows natural light to enter plus the thermal control of the interior. All of this results in significant energy savings for the company. Moreover, an exhaustive control system has been installed to monitor electricity consumption and the water cycle.

Biomass installation

Steam boiler

The company Aresol Servicios Energéticos, part of Grupo Aresol, has undertaken the installation of a steam biomass boiler manufactured by LSolé with a productive capacity of 4,000 kg/hr of steam at a maximum service pressure of 10 bars. The boiler’s feed system is equipped with a rotary valve and double wormgear feeder, as well as a safety device for fire protection to avoid flash-back. The boiler oven has a cooled moving grate that provides optimal distribution of the fuel inside the combustion chamber, allowing the use of fuels with up to 50% humidity. The highly efficient design of the combustion chamber and the flue gas passes offer a low level of consumption. The large volume of water available combined with generous size of the steam chamber guarantee both the continuous production of steam and quality dry air. Complete and careful insulation of the boiler with 100 mm thick mineral rock wool minimises heat losses. The automatic fire tube cleaning system is based on the injection of compressed air, ensuring that optimum levels of efficiency are maintained with a high level of service availability. Ash is automatically extracted from the combustion chamber.

Modulating monitoring and regulation system

The installation of a remote monitoring system allows oversight of the facility to ensure its correct operation along with the registration and statistical processing of the main operational parameters. The modulating control means that every parameter is automatically adjusted depending on the demand of the boiler and as such, the system operates continuously within the 30-100% range. The system is made up of a pressure transmitter in the steam outlet of the boiler; a temperature sensor (transmitter) in the return; a Lambda probe in the flue gas circuit; a frequency converter for the feeder conveyor; as well as frequency converters for all the combustion fans, for the flue gas fan and for the necessary programming panel.

Multi-cyclonic flue gas filter

The multi-cyclonic flue gas filter installed between the flue gas outlet from the boiler and the chimney, aims to separate particles in suspension caused by combustion from the flue gas.The flow of gases passes through the cyclones at a high peripheral speed thereby separating the particles from the gas flow.

Boiler room installations

The new boiler room moreover incorporates all the equipment required for the safe operation of the boiler, tubes and steam distribution collectors as well as a collection tank to make use of the inflow of condensate from the consumption elements of the plant.

Biomass storage silo

The fuel is stored in a silo constructed in an outhouse adjoining the boiler room. It has a capacity of 275 m3 , providing around 25 days’autonomy. Fuel is transported to the boiler by means of screw wormgear supplied by a 6 metre diameter agitation device, thus allowing a wide range of fuels to be used. The silo can be filled by directly unloading into the hopper or by means of pneumatic delivery via the pipes installed for the purpose.

Energy and economic savings

In terms of energy consumption, the new biomass installation will achieve an annual saving of 172,840 kWh compared to a traditional installation powered by fossil fuels, due to the improved overall performance of the renewable units. On an economic level, due to the lower cost of primary fuel and its increased price stability over the years, the new biomass plant will achieve an accumulated saving over the 12-year contract period of €657,572.