Modernization of the CHP plant at Hamburg Airport
One of the oldest operating CHP plants in Germany is being modernized. Over the next three years, 6 gas engines will be replaced and the plant periphery modernized at Hamburg Airport.
Hamburg Airport has been operating a CHP plant with 6 units based on INNIO Waukesha rich burn gas engines with 645 kWe and 1,095 kWth each since 1992. The thermal output of the 12-cylinder naturally aspirated engines, which are very robust with 115 liters displacement and 1,000 rpm, is fed into the airport's heating network and is also used to generate steam. The electric power generated in the generators is fed into the airport grid.
After an operating period of more than 28 years with over 150,000 operating hours per engine, the CHP plant is now to be comprehensively modernized. The decision was made in favor of replacement engines of the same type in conjunction with modernization of the plant peripherals, including replacement of the steam generators with exhaust gas heat exchangers. The decision in favor of the "extended major overhaul" and thus against a complete renewal of the CHP units was made for economic reasons. The advantages of the rich burn engines also played a role, as these have a high overall efficiency with low emissions, without additional space requirements and operating costs for an SCR exhaust gas cleaning system. S&L Energie-Projekte GmbH has now been assigned to replace the first two of a total of 6 units. The project is to be continued step by step over the next few years, with the remaining 4 units always having to remain in operation.
This will make one of the oldest operating CHP plants in Germany ready for the next (at least) 15 years. "While in the past old rich burn engines were often replaced by modern lean burn engines, today more and more operators are convinced to keep the advantages of the rich burn technology", says Stefan Schöne, Service Manager and Project Manager at S&L. "In addition to the well-known advantages of the high overall efficiency and the simple as well as effective exhaust gas cleaning, today the particularly low methane emissions of the rich burn engines are increasingly coming to the fore. Compared to modern lean-burn engines, large amounts of particularly climate-damaging methane emissions can be avoided here," added Raimund Dieckmann, S&L managing director. "Sometimes it is advantageous to fall back on old, proven technologies to solve the problems of today and tomorrow."