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Sustainability Enhancement of a Biomass Boiler through Exergy Analysis
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1  University of Idaho


Investigations on exergy resources are important from the point of energy sustainability. In the presented study an energy and exergy analysis of the operating biomass and natural gas boilers at the University of Idaho (UI) district energy plant is conducted. Exergy flows through the components of the steam cycle associated with the biomass boiler are quantified to identify major sources of exergy destruction in the district heating system. It is found that the biomass boiler has reduced energy and exergy efficiency compared to the natural gas boilers. Thermal efficiency varies from 76% to 85%, while exergy efficiency is significantly lower at 24% to 27% for all the boilers.  Exergy accounting reveals that the biomass boiler and furnace account for the greatest exergy destruction, at approximately 68% of the exergy provided by the fuel. Steam use on campus represents about 6% of exergy losses while the pressure reducer is responsible for 3.5%.

Keywords: Exergy, Biomass, Sustainability