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PBS Brno participates in the ecologization of the Komořany heating plant by boiler retrofit for biomass combustion

První brněnská strojírna, a.s. (PBS Brno), a traditional Czech engineering company specializing in the efficient production of heat and electricity with a reduced environmental impact has been awarded a contract by United Energy a.s. Komořany (a member of the EPH group) for retrofitting the K6 boiler to biomass combustion. The boiler upgrade, taking place over ten and a half months, is part of a large United Energy investment project aimed at adapting to the planned reduction of coal consumption and decarbonization in the European Union. The new bio-boiler will be powered solely by biomass combustion instead of coal and should burn at least 100 to 120 thousand tons of biofuel per year. This project will have a positive impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and it is the first decarbonization project of the EPH Group in the Czech Republic.
PBS Brno participates in the ecologization of the Komořany heating plant by boiler retrofit for biomass combustion
United Energy, Most; Source: EP ENERGY, a.s., (https://www.epenergy.cz/en/media/photos/)

“It's great to be at the beginning of the Czech decarbonization effort and we are proud that United Energy has chosen us as a partner to solve the difficult situation in this transit period of European energy and heating when coal is and will be gradually replaced by renewable energy sources,” said Pavel Rajtar, Director of Business department of PBS Brno.

An increasing effort is taking place in the European Union to meet the legislative obligations with the objective of decarbonization, i.e. reducing emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, or carbon oxides, and increasing energy efficiency. Energy and heat companies are thus trying to make energy and heat supplies more efficient, for example by investing in cogeneration units that produce energy and heat at the same time, or significantly increasing investments aimed at renewing and modernizing boilers originally designed to burn brown coal. The heating and cooling sector accounts for half of the EU's total energy consumption and the total share of renewable energy sources (RES) in this sector so far represents only around 18% (11% biomass) of energy consumption and therefore a considerable potential exists to increase the share of RES.

The joint-stock company United Energy is one of the leading Czech independent producers of electricity and heat. Following the trends of ecologization and decarbonization of energy production, United Energy is increasing the share of biofuels and contributes to the portfolio of RES in the Czech Republic, thanks to the project of biomass boilers conversion since the second half of 2021. United Energy took advantage of the retrofit option, i.e. renovation or modernization of the boiler using newer technology, equipment, or parts to increase the overall efficiency of the system using modern technological and design modifications.
“We have the great advantage of having boilers with fluid technology in half of their lifespan, with the benefit of a wide range of options for potentially used fuels. So, we do not have to build a completely new boiler, we just need to modify it. We will now work intensively with the company První brněnská strojírna, which has many years of experience with similar projects, on the upgrade of the K6 boiler,” said Petr Mareš, Technical Director of United Energy.

Pavel Křemínský, head of boiler engineering at PBS Brno, describes the specific modifications carried out within the boiler retrofit operations: “From a technical point of view, the boiler room retrofit consists mainly in modifying the fuel inlet to the boiler, optimizing the combustion process and modifying flue gas paths at the boiler outlet. Due to the fact that wood chips can have several forms, with different calorific value, humidity, and granulometry, it is necessary to homogenize it as much as possible, ensure an appropriate and continuous dosing and adjust the combustion process in the boiler, which are the main duties of První brněnská strojírna. There is also a need to modify existing flue pipes by installing equipment preventing flammable particles from escaping from the boiler into the current fabric filter, which is an important component of the technology preventing the spread of pollutants into the air.”

The knowledge and experience of PBS Brno make it possible to perform boiler retrofits and modifications on heating products and solutions from other suppliers. The main benefits of retrofitting include increased energy efficiency at lower costs compared to completely new construction, the possibility of expanding the range of operating capacity, modernization of constituent technologies, and the possibility of using fuels from locally available sources. PBS Brno uses its own engineering and production capabilities and capacities, thanks to which it maintains significant flexibility in the supply of spare parts. PBS Brno guarantees that its heating products meet the current regulations for ecological operation.

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