HPS Biomass Gasification Power Plant
Husk Power Systems (HPS)
The Husk Power Systems technology is a 25 – 100 kW biomass gasifier that converts residual biomass to energy through pyrolysis and combustion of volatile gases. Husk Power Systems targets the agro-processing communities in the state of Bihar, India who process significant quantities of rice.
Husk Power Systems is located in Patna, Bihar, India.
India, soon to expand to rest of Southeast Asia and Africa.
A 40 kWe HPS plant costs around $30,000 USD to build and can provide electricity for 500 village households. HPS Total Landed Cost of Installation < $1,300 per kW, with operational cost < $0.15/kWh. Electricity fees start at INR100 ($2.20 USD per month for a basic connection that supplies two 15 W CFL lights and phone charging, plus 300 rupees for the connection (about $6. Customers can pay more for a higher power connection.
There are a number of similar systems on the market by TinyTech Plants, India; DESI Power (NETPRO biomass power plant); Mali Biocarburant SA (biodiesel plant) and Simgas, Tanzania & TNO. At Rs. 2.20 per watt (4.4 U.S. cents), the company’s rates are among the cheapest across the globe per kW/h.
Target users are people living in rural underserved areas, BOP communities/ villages consisting of up to 1,000 households with combined power demand of villages averages 20-30 kWh. Ideal villages have 2km radius to plant with agricultural residue to power the plant within 10km. Cost of connection is about $6 USD and monthly fee of $2.20 USD for 7-8 hours of power. Ideal for typical households that require 45 watts per month mainly for lighting and phone charging. For bigger households and enterprises, Husk Power Systems employees conduct energy need audits and offer customized packages as per the customers’ needs and paying capacity.
Manufactured on per demand basis.
IP Protected (Patent unknown)
Husk Power is currently operating over 80 plants in 370 villages across five districts mostly in North-East province of Bihar, India providing power to 25,000 households and 200,000 people. Soon expanding to Nepal, Southeast Asia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania. The company hopes to be in 10-15 countries in 10 years, serving 10-20 million people. They build plants where there is local demand for electricity, and a source of rice husk or other agricultural residues within 10 km. They conduct an audit of the village and if 400 or more households sign up HPS installs a plant and connect households to the system.
• Fuel: Rice Husk or other agricultural waste
• Water cooled
Each unit is composed of:
• Downward draft rice husk gasifier (40-50 kg husk/hr r gas)
• Venturi/gas cleaning cum cooling system
• Water seal
• Three stage gas filters including charcoal filter, husk/saw dust filter, and fabric filter
• Spark ignition engine and generator unit
• 2 lead acid batteries for cranking the engine
Facility also includes husk storage area, water tank, hand operated water pump, char and tar water settling tanks, char/tar storage area and water recycling pumps.
The electricity generated is 3-phase – 415 Volts at the bus bar in the plant, and each phase being 230 Volts. Each of the 3-phases at 230 Volts constitutes one distribution circuit. The distribution grid is comprised of single phase lines extended into various parts of the village from which connections that feed into each household are drawn. The distribution system is comprised of double sheath cables mounted on bamboo poles and does not use transformers. Hence, the grid is not extended beyond 1.5 km to ensure at least 190 Volt at the farthest point on the grid ^Husk ^Power ^brochure
Components can likely be outsourced directly through HPS.
*Performance targets* Husk Power brochure
• 25-100 kW (usually 30W connected load at each household at 6 -7 hours of power consumption per day (2×15 watts CFLs & cellphone recharge))
• 32 kilowatts of electricity from 50 kilograms (110 lb) of husks per hour
• 400 households per each system installed
• 6 – 7 hours of power consumption per day (2 lights and phone charging)
• 56 BHP -1500 RPM
• Plots of size ranges from 185.8m^2 to 464.5 m^2
Currently no data yet available from AECF Africa or International Finance Corporation
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Husk Power Systems
There are some potential dangers to running the biogas plant: noise, hazardous waste material disposal, etc. HPS takes special care to train all the workers to adhere to strict health and safety standards.
Char byproduct is being used in incense making businesses for some villages, and silica is another by-product being monetized. By displacing kerosene and diesel solutions, each plant can be registered under Certified Emission Reductions (CER). HPS is also piloting programs to train local electricians to manufacture simple electronic products such as pre-paid meters or innovative products such as small refrigeration devices for rural micro-enterprises. Husk Power brochure
Pokar, Kinjal, Chaurasia, Sushil and Maheshwari, Rajeev K., Innovation at Bottom of Pyramid – Husk Power System: Electrifying Rural India (A Case Study) (March 27, 2012). Ganpat University International Conference on Emerging Management Practices, Mehsana, Gujarat on 8th & 9th Feburary 2013.
Manoj Sinha, (2011), Seeking an End to Energy Starvation (Innovations Case Narrative: Husk Power Systems). Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, Summer 2011, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 71-83.
Samir Patela & Khanjan Mehtaa, 2011, Life’s Principles as a Framework for Designing Successful Social Enterprises. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011DOI:10.1080/19420676.2011.592407
Bhattacharyya, S. C. (2014). Viability of off-grid electricity supply using rice husk: A case study from South Asia. Biomass and Bioenergy, 68, 44–54. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2014.06.002
Google Scholar yielded several additional results
HPS is supported by the IFC – investment of $350,000 in convertible quasi-equity (2010), and adheres to IFC’s environmental and social standards: PS 1: Social and Environmental Assessment Management System, and PS 2: Labour and Working Conditions.
Case study comparing HPS and DESI powerplant using secondary data: concludes that both offer great solution for BOP small scale village power demands (between 25 – 40kW total demand):
IFMR, Center for Development Finance, (2011). White paper case study – Rural Market Insight Brief: Empowering Villages. IFMR, Center for Development Finance, India.
Evaluation Methods: Age of the organization, Funding sources, Legal IncorporationOperation Area, Number of Plants, Average Time to set up a Plant, Collection Frequency and Timing, Technology Type, Supplier, Estimated Capital Cost, Cost per unit, Plant Size, CDM Revenues, Target Market, Revenue Collection
Additional technologies installed are: Pre‐paid meters, smart monitoring /smart grid, dry exhaust gasifier and absorption chille. A Husk Power University is being set up for training as well as an international franchising system.
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