HPS Biomass Gasification Power Plant
Husk Power Systems (HPS)
Based in India, the U.S. and Tanzania, HPS sells its proprietary gasification plants and maintenance services to agro-processing units like rice mills to help them reduce diesel consumption by up to 60%
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. A video about the company’s business.
Countries: Mainly India, then North America and Tanzania. For August 2018, in India, there are 75 live sites and 23 plants under construction. They have ambitious plans to expand across African and Asian markets.
Husk Power Systems in partnership with several organizations.
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 USD per kW, with operational cost < 0.15 USD/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 USD 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.
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Manufactured on per demand basis.
Patent-protected (Patent unknown)
Directly from the company or partner organizations.
For August 2018 and in five years time, the company has lighted 12.000 households, a total of 35 villages and within 75 plants constructed, saving 15.000 CO2 tons/year. They aim to raise the power generation to 30 MW by 2021.
• 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/sawdust filter, and fabric filter
• Spark ignition engine and generator unit
• 2 lead acid batteries for cranking the engine
The 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.
Components can likely be outsourced directly through HPS.
Plant estimated lifetime is over 20 years.
• 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 range from 185.8m2 to 464.5 m2
By 2022 HSK’s mission in India is to have 400 sites to be commissioned with a power generation of 2.5 MW. In West Africa is to have 50 sites commisioned with 2.5 MW power generation and in Tanzania 150 commisioned sites with a total of 7.5 MW generation possibility.
Husk actively sells its proprietary gasification plants and maintenance services to agro-processing units like rice mills to help them reduce diesel consumption by up to 60%.
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. H
Pokar, Kinjal, Chaurasia, Sushil and Maheshwari, Rajeev K (2012). Innovation at Bottom of Pyramid – Husk Power System: Electrifying Rural India (A Case Study). Ganpat University International Conference on Emerging Management Practices, Mehsana, Gujarat on 8th & 9th February 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, 2011. DOI: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.
Google Scholar yielded several additional results.
HPS is supported by the IFC – an investment of 350,000 USD 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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