It is foreseen that distributed power generation, using biogas and natural gas as fuel, will play increasingly important role in the future European energy market. These technologies are presenting controllable power generation capacity as complementary to the installed intermittent renewable power generation in terms of wind and solar.

A nationally funded project was initiated in Stavanger, Norway in 2010, led by the Center for Sustainable Energy Solutions (cenSE), to investigate use of existing small scale energy conversion technologies developed for natural gas, using as much as possible biogas mixed with natural gas without any hardware modifications to the energy conversion units. Three test setups with a micro gas turbine (100 kWe), a gas engine (11 kWe) and a short stack of solid oxide fuel cell consisting of six cells (30–40 We) were installed for experimental studies, providing necessary data for model validation and development of data driven models for engine performance monitoring.

This paper reports the results of the project, concerning mapping the operational window for use of mixture of simulated biogas (50% methane, 50% CO2) and natural gas for each technology as an enabler of biogas utilization with natural gas as fallback solution. The CO2 reduction potential, when natural gas is replaced with biogas, is also presented. Moreover, the capability of using data driven models based on artificial neural network for online monitoring and control of the engine performance at various operational conditions is shown.

Detailed reporting on various aspects of fuel composition and technology impact has been conducted earlier. This paper provides a total overview and a comparison of performance of the technologies tested in this study.

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