THE Austeco PowerPak is a revolutionary power generating system that converts cellulosic substance biomass to electricity.
The system, which is a low-cost alternative to using diesel, is ideal for rural and remote areas and anywhere requiring emergency power.
The Austeco PowerPak currently comes in two standard sizes the Micro 10kW, 12.5kVA [Kilo-Volt-Ampere]) or Mini 20kW, 25kVA, and there is a larger 100kW unit in the development pipeline.
The PowerPak relies on the gasification process, a method for converting solid waste, in this case biomass, to a gaseous fuel referred to as Synthesis Gas or its shorthand name Syngas.
Ironically, the technology is fairly old and was developed during World War II during a fuel shortage and was used to convert coal to a similar fuel gas.
In the last 10-15 years it has re-emerged as a viable option for power generation using biomass.
It has potential to use multiple types of biomass including wood chips, bagasse, sawdust pellets, corn cobs and nutshells, of which wood chips and nut shells are the most suitable and perform the best within the product.
The way the technology works is through pyrolysis, which heats the solid waste to between 850-950 degrees Celsius with an absence of oxygen.
Under these conditions the fuel doesn’t completely combust to produce carbon dioxide and water and instead produces the Syngas.
Syngas contains less energy than LPG or LNG, but is considered cheaper depending on the biomass utilised.