Gen-C‘s specialist support helps boost CHP performance for local authority AD plant

Switching responsibility for their CHP (combined heat and power) engines from a single service provider to two smaller, expert companies is delivering big rewards for the owners of a local authority-owned anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

Gen-C ‘s specialist support helps boost CHP performance for local authority AD plantFlexible support

The 600kW facility converts over 30,000 tonnes of kerbside-collected food waste each year into renewable energy and employs two MWM V12 CHP engines.

After the plant owner’s relationship with their long-term engine service provider broke down, they were keen to find an alternative cost-efficient and reliable option.

“We’d previously supplied the owners with high-quality CHP spare parts and have a strong reputation within the waste and AD industry for engine upgrading solutions,” says Gen-C Managing Director James Thompson. “Having also developed a strong working relationship with servicing experts GenV, I knew we could work together to deliver an expert, bespoke, value-for-money solution to ensure efficient running of their CHPs.”

Gen-C ‘s specialist support helps boost CHP performance for local authority AD plant

Unlocking the key to success

Gaining access to the CHP control panels, which had been locked by the previous service provider to prevent the owners from accessing them, was essential. Without direct access, effective engine management would be impossible; anytime the CHPs stalled or shut down (for example, due to a change in biogas composition or bad weather), the operators would be unable to restart them, incurring costly engine downtime waiting for an engineer to arrive.

Gen-C offered a unique solution – the installation of brand-new, open-access Motortech control panels, fitted with the latest intelligent ComAp technology. Open-access control panels are key to operators leaving a restrictive service contract, allowing CHP owners to dial in remotely any time, from anywhere, to manage their engines’ performance.

The control panels also feature IGS-LOG software monitoring technology, enabling managers to understand what constitutes normal operation and spot any downward trends or anomalies. In addition, the software issues an alert if a fault occurs, allowing operators to diagnose, rectify and even remotely restart the engines reducing downtime.

Collaborative power

At the local authority site, the first CHP was out of action for just seven days. Gen-C also installed a series of Motortech parts specific for biogas engines to improve performance, including a VariFuel gas mixer, an MIC4 ignition controller and a DetCon 20 detonation control system. The overhaul of the second engine was completed a month later.

“Not only do the engines now start first time, every time, they also run much more smoothly,” explains James. “Should a simple issue cause either of the engines to temporarily shut down, the operators can now restart it themselves within seconds. If the cause is something more serious, they can assess it remotely and either fix it themselves or call us for support. This has resulted in increased engine uptime and better, more reliable performance. And as the plant owners are no longer tied into an expensive monthly service contract, their bills are significantly lower, too.”

For more information on the Motortech open-access CHP control panel, contact