Biomass Project Benefits Rural Communities

Community Power Corporation has successfully tested its new Community Productive Use Platform (C-PUP) at the Productive Rural Enterprise coir fiber processing facility in Aklan Province, Philippines.

Littleton, Colorado – April 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Developed and deployed under cost-shared contracts with the US Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the World Bank Development Marketplace, the C-PUP is a Renewable Energy-based adaptation of the Multi-purpose Platform first introduced in Africa by the United Nations. A June 2002 Workshop on Productive Uses of Renewable Energy conducted by the Global Environment Facility and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that “in rural areas of developing countries, small amounts of energy – in the form of electricity, heat, and motive power – can have very positive impacts on income, education, health, and food security.” As a result, programs to support productive uses of Renewable Energy are becoming higher on the agenda of many development agencies, bilateral donors, NGOs and private sector companies. “Rural people need access to small amounts of high quality productive power in order to add maximum value to their agricultural, forest and marine resources,” said Art Lilley, chairman of CPC. “The C-PUP converts local biomass residues into different forms of power that can be applied to a myriad of productive use applications. For example, at a small coconut processing facility in the Philippines we demonstrated the ability to simultaneously grind husks and shells using shaft power, light the facility and pump water using electrical power, and dry fiber using thermal power. The flexibility of the C-PUP to power different kinds of productive applications is limited only by one’s imagination and needs.” The heart of the C-PUP is CPC’s new Gas Production Module that can convert a variety of woody residues (such as coconut shells in the Philippines) to a fuel-gas for delivery to a spark-ignited engine mounted on a power distribution platform. The platform allocates about 25 shaft horsepower to various mechanical and electrical loads. The peak electrical output of the C-PUP is 15 kW using about 23 kg of coconut shells per hour. In addition, about 15 kW of thermal energy is available in the form of clean, hot air for drying crops. “Biopower is the ideal energy source for rural enterprise”, said Lilley. “Modular biopower is the least cost approach when compared to other Renewable Energy resources such as photovoltaics and wind. Sustainable quantities of biomass residues for small power applications are available in most rural, agricultural-based, communities throughout the world. With CPC’s biopower technology, these residues can be converted to high quality power to drive productive electrical, mechanical and thermal loads. Biomass also produces thermal power which wind and photovoltaics do not.”

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