SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC HELPS PROVIDE SMART ENERGY SOLUTIONS THROUGH PARTICIPATION IN INNOVATIVE FARM POWER PROJECT
May 15, 2008
Schneider Electric, a global leader of energy saving solutions, announces its participation in the Farm Power project. Farm Power is a not-for-profit Washington corporation founded in 2004 for the express purpose of developing a farm-scale project to convert straw to energy. As part of a donation of services valued at $14,500, an engineering team from Schneider Electric was instrumental in developing the electrical system for the project, and will continue to be involved as the project is taken to commercialization. "The efforts put forth by Schneider Electric to further Farm Power have been above and beyond," said Jack Zimmer, Ph.D. and Project Director for Farm Power. "This is a new and specialized design program that there were no guidelines for on the shelf. The cooperation between Farm Power and the professional staff of Schneider Electric has been outstanding." Farm Power, which is working cooperatively with the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, is funded mainly through a congressional earmark that is administered by the Department of Energy. The group, main goal is to identify and solve gaps in knowledge and technology that limit the economic on-farm conversion of Kentucky bluegrass straw to electrical power. Its Board of Directors consists of individuals focused on the development of farm-scale alternative energy programs. The Farm Power project encompasses the total operations required for the harvest of Kentucky bluegrass straw, transportation to a thermo-chemical bio-refinery, processing of the straw within the bio-refinery, collection and cleanup of the syn-gas produced and delivery of the syn-gas to a generator for the production of electricity. To support these activities, Farm Power has invested in the development of straw harvest equipment, straw storage facilities, a new generation gasifier and gas cleanup equipment. "As part of Schneider Electric's contribution, our engineers developed a one-line diagram, construction drawings, specific equipment ratings and an electrical system protection scheme for this project," said Ellen Kotzbauer, manager of Schneider Electric's Federal Government Market Segment group. "We look forward to continued involvement as Farm Power takes the next steps towards commercialization, and we'll continue to look for ways to produce smart energy solutions." Operation of the bio-refinery is slated to begin in late May. Once the process is operational, further research and development will be conducted before the product is made available.