Gen-C’s common engine control platform boosts landfill gas production at EDL Mucking

A smart, automated, common engine control platform from Gen-C has boosted gas production by up to 10% at EDL’s Mucking landfill gas power station. The Motortech supervisory panel comprising ComAp technology controls five MWM Deutz engines on the site. It optimises gas and asset use by adjusting engine load in real time to exactly match the available gas coming in from the field. Featuring live alerts, superior fault diagnosis, data logging and remote engine control including instant restarts, the Mucking team can now track, monitor and adjust the performance of all five engines at once via a user-friendly app, without needing to be on site.

“Engine downtime has been virtually eliminated,” says Dave Dickson, Site Supervisor at EDL Mucking. “The common control panel automatically adjusts the load of each engine to instantly match gas availability, making manual intervention redundant. As well as enabling better use of personnel, we’ve seen between a 5-10% uplift in gas production.”

Optimising gas production

Located in Tilbury, Essex, the EDL Mucking landfill gas power station houses five operational engines. Gen-C was commissioned to upgrade four of the engines’ control panels to intelligent, open-access Motortech versions, as well as replace the ignition systems. As part of the project, Gen-C also supplied a supervisory common control platform.

“Before the common control platform was installed, we would regularly assess the suction limit – this is the volume of gas that’s available and is based on external factors such as atmospheric pressure,” says Dave Dickson. “We would then manually adjust each engine’s load to meet the suction limit before repeating the process a few hours later. However, this reactive response meant there was inevitably a lag in gas uptake; production was not being optimised.”

Power with control

Since automating the process, this lag has been eliminated. “Now, we set the parameters of the supervisory panel according to the suction limit and it automatically adjusts the engines’ load to match it in real time,” says Dave. “It enables a more agile use of our assets – the system reads how many engines are running, and at what capacity, and detects whether they need to flex up or down. It can stop or start individual engines as needed and bring the reserve online within just 15 minutes. If needed, a member of the team can even dial in remotely to access the panel or override it; something they would have previously needed to be on site to do.”

Easing staffing pressures

There are other benefits, too. “Previously, if an engine shut down, we received an email alert prompting us to restart it manually,” outlines Dave. “This sometimes incurred a delay of six or even eight hours, during which time the engine would be out of action and gas production would be reduced. Now, if any engine develops a fault, the common control panel automatically shuts it down and brings the spare online.”

With the supervisory control panel replacing manual intervention, EDL has been able to redeploy staff to more business-critical areas. “The number of nuisance trips to restart engines has been dramatically reduced and the system incorporates an app that we can access 24/7 to check engine performance remotely,” says Dave. “Everything is visible on just one screen, so it’s easy to track what’s happening.”

Gen-C’s Managing Director James Thompson is delighted that EDL have seen such an uplift from the system: “The Motortech common control panel takes continuous live data from all engines and makes forward-thinking, autonomous adjustments to ensure they are operating optimally. It’s not only a portal that talks to each engine; it’s a fully autonomous power control platform that proactively manages the gas in the field and burns it through the assets on site in the most efficient way for the engines and asset owner.”

For more information on the Motortech common engine control platform, contact or call 01709 718002.