The olive oil industry generates several solid wastes. Among these residues are olive tree leaves, prunings, and dried olive pomace (orujillo) from the extraction process. These renewable energy sources can be used for heat and power production. The aim of this paper consists of modelling and simulation of a small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) plant (fuelled with olive industry wastes) incorporating a downdraft gasifier, gas cleaning and cooling subsystem, and a microturbine as the power generation unit. The gasifier was modelled with thermodynamic equilibrium calculations (fixed bed type, stratified and with an open top). This gasifier operates at atmospheric pressure with a reaction temperature about 800oC. Simulation results (biomass consumption, gasification efficiency, rated gas flow, calorific value, gas composition, etc.) are compared with a real gasification technology. The product gas obtained has a low heating value (4.8–5.MJNm-3) and the CHP system provides 30kWe and 60kWth. High system overall CHP efficiencies around 50% are achievable with such a system. The proposed system has been modelled using Cycle-Tempo software.
Keywords:CHP system, olive tree biomass, downdraft gasifier, gasification efficiency, Cycle-Tempo