We helped towards the development of a micro combined heat and power (m-CHP) biomass boiler for potential application in factories, small industries, farms and off-grid homes.

Key Facts

    • Working with an industrial partner, Samad Power Ltd, we conducted a feasibility study and performance assessment of a Turbo Bio Boiler (TBB) System (a biomass micro-turbine system for domestic CHP applications).
    • This improved knowledge in the field of micro-scale biofuel CHPs, and involved innovative carbon neutral biofuel heat and power generation.
    • Our research provides the commercial opportunity of utilising the system in factories, small industries, farms and off-grid homes.

  • Funded by Low Carbon KEEP programme, which provided 40% revenue and capital funding to support collaborative partnerships between small to medium businesses (SMEs) in the East of England and universities in the UK
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Conventional power and heat vs. micro combined heat and power generation (m-CHP)

Impact of our research

We carried out a feasibility study and performance assessment of a biomass version of a micro combined heat and power (m-CHP) boiler to be utilised in factories, small industries, farms and off-grid homes.

Biomass fuels are one of the best solutions to reduce our carbon footprint as they are considered a renewable source of energy and close-to-zero-emission fuel sources. With the growing demand for carbon neutral energy systems, this helps the progression towards low carbon future technologies for domestic applications.

Our industrial partner, Samad Power Ltd, is now in the development phase of a natural gas burning m-CHP capable of producing up to 3kW (kilowatts) of electricity while simultaneously providing  up to 50kW of heat.

Why the research was commissioned

The m-CHP technology generates heat and electricity simultaneously from the same energy source in individual homes or buildings. Although it has been in use in the industrial sector since the energy crisis of the 1970s, small systems for domestic use are a recent development.

Samad Power Ltd is a UK technology-based company which develops domestic CHP micro turbine units. It has developed a 2kWe (kilowatt-electric) turbo generative boiler for domestic CHP applications with a gas turbine at the micro core of the system.

Samad Power wanted a feasibility study, design and performance evaluation of a biomass version of this micro CHP boiler to be used in factories, small industries, farms and off-grid homes. No product in this size (5kW electrical and 50kW heat) has reached the market.

Why Cranfield?

We have a strong research and engineering background including in combustion and gasification processes, biomass and waste derived fuels, advanced bio-energy systems, gas turbine and heat exchangers technologies and materials science.

A research fellow, Dr Mostafa Langari, was recruited to work on the delivery of the project in which we undertook process simulation and experimental work, and the project was led at Cranfield by Dr Hamid Darabkhani.

Following this project, we are now active on the European Turbine Network’s (ETN) Micro Gas Turbine committees to collaboratively apply for Horizon 2020 funding on biofuel micro CHP projects.

TBB boiler burner
PellasX 70kW wood pellet burner for TBB system.

Facilities used

  • The project’s process simulation used Aspen Plus software and design of the boiler system used AutoCAD software
  • The experimental work on commissioning of the biofuel burner and the recuperator system was carried out at Samad Power’s workshop.