How the energy system works
The Dockside Green Energy district energy system consists of a central energy plant that produces hot water through an innovative gasification process using waste wood as a feedstock and a district energy system to transport the heated water throughout the Dockside Green community.
Dockside Green Energy will be using biomass gasification to generate thermal (heat) energy for the Dockside Green district energy system. Gasification is a thermo-chemical process that uses heat to convert any carbon-containing fuel into a clean burning gas commonly referred to as syngas. Gasification differs from combustion because it uses just 20% to 30% of the air or oxygen needed for complete fuel combustion. This “starved air” combustion process provides sufficient heat to pyrolyze and chemically break down the balance of the fuel into syngas. The syngas can be combusted in a variety of downstream applications. Nexterra Energy Corp. has been contracted to provide a turnkey gasification system that will supply 2 MWth (megaWatts thermal) of hot water to the Dockside Green Energy district energy system. The central plant will gasify a supply of clean, locally produced wood fuel to produce the clean syngas that will in turn be burned in an oxidizer. The resulting flue gas will produce ultra low emissions. The gasification system will be housed in an architecturally designed building with noise abatement equipment to ensure there is no disturbance to the local community from the gasification system operations.
At peak operating levels, the gasification system will consume 1.1 tonnes of wood fuel per hour. The system will have a 3.4 MWth natural gas back up system that will provide peaking capacity and back-up heat when the gasification plant is not in operation. The natural gas boiler provides more than 100% back-up reliability to the development and adds capacity to meet peaking requirements to on-site and potential off-site customers as the system builds out over time.
Dockside Green Energy Gasification System Components
The gasification process is more fully described on the Nexterra website, www.nexterra.ca.
The Distribution System
The hot water produced by the central gasification plant will be transported to each building in Dockside Green through a system of below-ground insulated pipes. At each building, a heat exchanger allows the heat energy in the Dockside Green Energy district energy system pipes to be transferred to the internal piping system in the buildings. Both the Dockside Green Energy distribution pipe system and the pipe system in each building are separate closed loop systems. The amount of energy that is transferred to the piping system in each building is measured by a Dockside Green Energy revenue-grade meter, tested for accuracy and CSA certified.
The Dockside Green Energy system will be operated by Corix Utilities under a multi-year contract.