ElectraTherm commissioned its first Power+ generator in California to generate fuel-free power from a biomass boiler. The organic rankine cycle (ORC) generator is part of a California Energy Commission grant for CHP/prime power generation from biomass.

A partnership between Wisewood Energy and the Sierra Institute developed the plant and site. A biomass boiler will provide heat to the Plumas County Heath and Humans Services Building in Quincy, Calif. By incorporating ORC technology seasonally when heat demand for buildings is available, the plant also will generate electricity to offset the power consumed onsite.

At the site, a biomass boiler consumes locally sourced forest cleanup and logging waste. The heat is used to produce a high pressure vapor that expands through ElectraTherm’s twin-screw power block, spinning an electric generator to produce power. After turning the expander, the vapor is condensed back into a liquid by rejecting heat to the building heating loop.