Compabloc helps get the most out of biomass

The ACCIONA Group is one of the largest corporations in Spain, operating in construction, energy, water and sustainable services in more than 30 countries. As part of the company’s focus on using well-proven, reliable technologies, Acciona Energía decided to include Alfa Laval components in two new biomass-fuelled power plants.

DATE 2023-11-28

The Miajadas plant (in the province of Cáceres) uses mixed wood waste as input, while the Briviesca plant (in Burgos province) uses agricultural straw. The Miajadas plant is the first power plant in Europe fuelled by a biomass mixture. Alfa Laval Compabloc technology – the most compact high-efficiency plate heat exchangers currently available – was selected for both power plants.

Biomass into electricity

Converting this valuable resource into electricity is a thermodynamic chemical procedure that starts with combustible biomass material, whose main components are carbon and hydrogen. When mixed under appropriate conditions, these two elements combust and generate heat. This heat is then used to produce high-pressure steam, which is led to a turbine that drives a generator producing electricity at 11,000 volts. The electricity is then converted to 45,000 volts before being fed into the Spanish national grid.

Compabloc heat exchangers

In the Miajadas plant the pre-heating of the low-pressure feed water was set up using an all-welded Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchanger instead of a traditional shell-and-tube unit. The Compabloc used here was specially configured to deal with the particular requirements of this plant. Plant manager at Miajadas, Rafael Godoy, says:

This equipment, which has been designed specifically to suit our needs, provides outstanding performance as well as being very compact.

Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangerThe compact, fully welded Compabloc heat exchanger is designed to operate with a wide range of aggressive media and at high temperatures and pressures. 

More about Compabloc 

Features and benefits

  • Highly competitive capital and installation costs
  • More capacity in a small space
  • Higher heat recovery resulting in lower emissions
  • Long service intervals and easy service access for low lifetime costs
With the Compabloc, our process yields improve noticeably, and water reaches the boiler at higher temperatures. This provides better performance while using less biomass input.

Rafael Godoy, Plant Manager, Miajadas