The Group Design Projects are an educational exercise and the projects undertaken and designs developed during them should not be reported as representative of projects undertaken by or designs developed by the Supporters.
[Group 07] Pond Green Energy Park
Entering the home straight of our project this week was all about ironing out the details. We decided on our pedestrian routes and where our tree line would start. The building layouts were finalised as well. This included the machinery set up for our waste sorting facility down to the positioning of the chairs in our conference room. We also spent time on health and safety deciding on proper fire protection and road signage. Who knew there were so many things to worry about? We even managed to complete some structural design. Sadly due to the lack of interior columns, we came to the conclusion that our odour reducing biofilters could not be supported on our roof. Instead we used problem solving to use an innovative stacked design to save space and trees. And now we have space for our green roof design too.
Still, with all our work, by our Thursday Critical Session we still had one last hurdle to jump. In specific, the logistical challenge of annually transporting 100,000 Tons of waste safely and effectively across a 50 metre stretch from our pelleter to the gasifier complex. Thankfully we already have a few ideas up our sleeve. It’s going to be a busy weekend!
The focus this week in Group 7, Pond Green Energy Park, was finalising the technical aspects of our project. It boiled down to what machines and methods we would be using around site and also where they would be located. It came to the point where everyone was gathered around a table calculating the different dimensions their part of the site needed. However, the estimates kept on being revised every ten minutes, to the exasperation of our group’s designated site designer. In the end though, a functional site layout was agreed upon that met with our client’s needs.
Difficult decisions needed to be made, including what drying method would be used for our waste. But we learnt that all you can do is use your best judgement and try and support your decision as best you can. And when a curve ball was thrown our way in the Critical Session, a request from our client for a separate storage for pre-treated waste, we didn’t let it worry us too much. After all, in real life you need to be flexible because things change and you need to adapt to succeed. A valuable set of lessons to have learnt in the short week following the Queen’s Jubilee. Now what we need to focus on is getting everything done in time for the final assessments!
This week was a full of problem solving for Group 7. First it was a matter of time management, with only one day between our Development Presentation and Critical Session. As a result we needed to get our schedule perfect. Still with team work and a great big ‘To-Do’ list we managed to pull through. We also had to manage technical problems, like how to tackle the vermin when storing waste. After considering simultaneously running a shelter for stray cats we settled or more conventional housekeeping methods. We also had to begin tackling site layout which proved to be much more difficult than we initially expected. But with plenty of brainstorming even those problems were solved.
Finally, the most technical problem of the week was deciding between using MBT or BMT technology. In essence this is just deciding whether the biological treatment will occur before or after mechanical sorting of the incoming waste. After consulting with industrial and academic experts we realized that even the method of biological treatment could not be agreed upon, much less the order. Thankfully in our Critical Session we were able to work out a compromise with our client by continuing investigation of multiple methods. We can only hope the next week is just as productive!
The Group 7 Project consists of designing the 1.76 hectare Energy Park for ITI Energy. We have been assigned with the task of proposing plans for an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant with an onsite Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility. The EfW technology that is to be employed is gasification which will produce energy in the form of syngas and heat. The MBT facility will deal with sorting out materials that are not eligible for gasification and reducing the moisture content of the waste. Also an additional task will be to design a pelleting machine which can produce uniformly sized briquettes of the treated waste which can be fed into the gasifier.
At the start of the week, our group began by dividing up tasks and acquainting ourselves with the various technical and legal aspects of the project. In between tea breaks, we covered everything from planning permits to alternative uses of bottom ash. We narrowed down the MBT technologies from the dozens of available combinations to that which produces the best feed for gasification. Most importantly, this research helped the group understand where our challenges would be. For example, due to the sensitivity of the waste’s moisture content, special care needs to be taken with the on-site transport and storage logistics. Despite the sunny weather, we had a very productive first week and covered a ton of ground. But we still have a long way to go until the 22nd of June!
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