Cummins has installed its QSK60G natural gas generator in the TROIL Vegas Altas S.C. olive oil sludge treatment plant in Valdetorres, Spain, to help ensure the newly expanded plant can operate reliably around the clock.
TROIL Vegas, a cooperative dedicated to the transformation of olive oil mill by-products, was founded in 1999 and began harvesting in August 2002. Many extensions have been made to the site over the years; and to make its recent expansion in product facilities a success, the business selected Cummins to install a QSK60G gas generator set, offering 1540 kW of continuous power with a Cummins PowerCommand PC3.3 controller incorporated within the generator.
As the manufacturing process of its by-products can be very complex and energy-intensive, the facility required a high-performance and reliable solution to make sure the new site operated reliably around the clock, the company said. The initial mass of by-products processed from oil mills derives with a humidity range of approximately 65 to 70%. This mass is then poured from the rafts and is stored. About 50% of the mass weight is separated as vegetal (from plants or vegetables) water and the rest accounts for the remaining seedless olive pomace oil with 60% humidity. Due to these parameters involved in the processing of these by-products, a combined heat and power application was chosen as the most cost-effective and reliable solution to power the new site expansion.
The power generated by the existing two gas generators and the Cummins QSK60G generator installed within the plant is used to dry the pomace and evaporate most of the vegetal water. At the same time, the power from the exhaust gases is used to heat air in a gas/air exchanger reaching a temperature of around 360ºC. This excess heat is utilized to dry the wet pomace produced in the mill. Through this cogeneration application, the facility can now gain significant fuel and financial savings by also exporting any excess power generated to the grid.
“The QSK60G generator at the plant is designed to provide TROIL Vegas Atlas S.C. with a solution that will make sure the new site can operate reliably 24/7 and 365 days a year,” said Jose Melgarejo, Business Development Manager, Cummins Power Generation. “The QSK60G series is a custom-made gas solution that provides exceptional reliability teamed with low maintenance costs per kWh and excellent fuel efficiency. The result is lower total cost of ownership, predictable cost management, valuable fuel cost savings and faster payback.”
The company said the new plant was specifically designed to ensure all residue from oil mills is properly processed to minimize any environmental impact and allow for any excess to be reused again. The site is located within an industrial urban area which meant the site had to comply with all noise level and engine emissions requirements, which was another key reason for the selection of the Cummins QSK60G generator.