First German CraftEngine deal signed

The first CraftEngine has been sold in Germany to Sommer Energy. The generator-manufacturing company will combine Viking's waste heat recovery technology with the gas engine it uses to power a customer’s greenhouse.

Jörn Riemann, Sales Manager at Viking Heat Engines in Germany, says that by installing the CraftEngine at the greenhouse, the excess heat from the gas engine can be used to power the business, or sold off to the public grid.

"The gas engine currently produces electricity and heat, also known as thermal power,” he says. "You can adjust the electrical power during the summer time, or feed it into the public grid, but this is not possible with the thermal power. So, during the summer time, when you don’t need a lot of thermal power, the heat goes to waste. By adding the CraftEngine to the system, you can continue to run it with a 100 percent load all year round to ensure optimal efficiency and produce electricity that you can sell off to the public grid.”

In Germany, the government pays an additional EUR 0.02 for every kilowatt of green electricity from cogeneration plants, which means the greenhouse is set to earn EUR 60,000 per year once the CraftEngine has been installed.

"Thanks to this incentive program, the payback time for investing in our system is no more than three to three-and-a-half years,” Riemann adds.

Riemann says Sommer Energy chose the CraftEngine for its customer’s needs over competitors’ products owing to the flexibility of the system.

"We can change the speed and temperature range of the engine without affecting its efficiency, which means we can easily adapt to our customers’ needs and wishes,” Riemann says. "Also, our own consumption of electricity through the use of fans and pumps is quite low, which was another reason Sommer Energy chose our product.”

Riemann says there is a great need for a system like the CraftEngine in Germany, a country where there are currently around 8,000 biogas plants.

"A lot of these plants are located outside the cities and too far away from the public grid, which means they dump the thermal power by using emergency coolers,” he says. "With the CraftEngine, they can get rid of the emergency coolers, transform the energy into electrical power, and sell it back to the grid or use it for their own consumption instead.”

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