finland`s most energy-efficient waste-to



finland`s most energy-efficient waste-to
Case study
finland’s most energy-efficient
waste-to-energy plant in vantaa
Finland’s largest and most energy-efficient waste-to-energy plant was inaugurated in September 2014. Over 95
per cent of the energy in the mixed waste fuel consumed
by the plant can be converted into district heat and electricity. The AC drives at the plant were supplied by Vacon.
Every ordinary working day, Monday to Friday, 1,400 tons
of mixed waste - collected mainly from households in the
Helsinki region and surrounding areas - are delivered
to Vantaa Energy’s new waste-to-energy plant in Långmossebergen in Eastern Vantaa. Annually this amounts to
320,000 tonnes of waste. Over 95 per cent of the energy in
the mixed waste can be converted into district heat and
electricity, in total 920 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of district
heat and 600 GWH of electricity a year. This corresponds
to about half of Vantaa’s district heat requirements and
about 30 per cent of the city’s electricity needs each year.
The new waste-to-energy plant will reduce the use of fossil
fuels in Vantaa Energy’s energy production by about 30 per
cent, and the company’s carbon dioxide emissions in Vantaa will fall by approximately 20 per cent a year. “Vantaa
Energy has set climate change mitigation as one of the key
targets for its operations. The waste-to-energy plant is a
major environmental achievement and we are extremely
proud of it,” says Managing Director Pertti Laukkanen.
The flue gas cleaning methods at Vantaa Energy’s wasteto-energy plant represent the best available technology.
As a result, emission levels at the plant are on average 50
per cent below the emission limits set by the waste incineration directive.
VACON AC drives improve energy-efficiency and control
The AC drives used at the plant were supplied by Vacon.
“More than 200 VACON® NXP and VACON® NXS AC drives in
the power range from 0.75 kW to 1,800 kW control pumps,
fans and conveyors. A few VACON AC drives are also installed in the plant’s HVAC system,” says Jari Ollila, Key
Account Manager, Vacon Finland Sales team.
An AC drive is an electronic device for providing step-less
control of the torque and rotation speed of AC motors.
Speed control allows optimum process control and energy
efficiency. Demand for AC drives is also boosted by global
megatrends, such as replacing mechanical with electronic
The impact of AC drives on energy consumption is best
seen in the control of pumps and fans. “When an AC drive
reduces the rotation speed of a pump or fan by half, this
not only adjusts the process as required but also cuts energy consumption, reduces the strain on equipment, doubles the operating life of the pump and improves operational reliability. Using AC drives with conveyors enhances
reliability, since start-ups are smooth and the speed can
be adjusted according to process needs. A conveyor controlled by an AC drive also uses energy more efficiently,
since a conveyor that is only partially loaded or is moving faster than is necessary wastes energy and places unnecessary wear on machinery,” says Jani Saarinen, Sales
Director, Vacon Finland Sales team.
No competing or substitute technical solutions exist
for AC drives
Vacon has recently supplied AC drives to several other
power plants in Finland. These include the Vaskiluodon
Voima biomass gasification plant and the Westenergy
waste-to-energy plant in Vaasa, a biomass gasification
plant for Lahti Energia, and biomass plants for Jyväskylä
Energy, Kaukaan Voima and Kerava Energy.
No competing or substitute technical solutions exist for AC
drives, and none are on the horizon, so Vacon sees that
the market will inevitably continue to grow in the future
as well.
Vacon supplies AC drives in the power range from 0.2 kW
to 5.3 MW. AC drives make possible optimal process control and energy-efficient electric motors. Using the Internet allows industrial devices equipped with AC drives to
be controlled and monitored more intelligently than before, regardless of location.
Cover photo: Vantaa Energy’s new waste-to-energy plant
in Vantaa was inaugurated on 17 September 2014. Photo
courtesy of Vantaa Energy. Photo by Olli-Pekka Orpo.
VACON® Save – now with Fast Savings mode!
VACON Save is a tool for estimating the potential energy
savings given by a motor-drive combination in pump, fan
and compressor applications compared to conventional
control methods such as throttling and on-off for pumps,
such as throttling, pitch control and vane control for fans,
and turn valve and unloading for compressors. The calculations are based on affinity curves, compressor behavior
and on the behavior of the efficiencies.
“VACON Save helps calculate the energy savings in kWh
for example when planning to use a VACON 100 for pumps
and fans or compressors in a process. The application displays the savings in the local currency, and will also estimate the payback time for a drive and the reductions in
carbon dioxide emissions,” explains Jani Saarinen.
If the exact input values required by the tool are not available, a Fast Savings calculation mode has been added to
the tool to make calculations simple, without sacrificing
too much in accuracy.
Vacon Oyj
Runsorintie 7
Tel. +358 (0)201 2121
Fax. +358 (0)201 212 205
[email protected]
Download the updated version (v2.3.1, Windows) from Vacon’s website at -> Downloads -> PC tools
Vantaa Energy’s new energy-to-waste plant in a nutshell:
• Construction work for the plant started in autumn 2011,
the trial run started in March 2014 when the first waste
consignments were incinerated, the plant was inaugurated on 17 September 2014.
• Investment costs total EUR 300 million, the plant has an
estimated operating life of more than 30 years.
• Waste is burned in two grate-fired steam generators.
• The plant will generate 920 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of
district heat and 600 GWh of electricity a year. This corresponds to the heat used by about 100,000 one-bedroom
apartments in Vantaa and the electricity used by 200,000
• The plant will improve the efficiency of mixed waste utilization since the annual amount of mixed waste consumed,
320,000 tonnes, will no longer end up in landfill sites.
• Continuous monitoring with measuring devices in the
flues ensures the cleanliness of the flue gas coming out
the of the plant’s chimney. The plant will shut down if its
emissions exceed the limit values set for them.
VACON Save is an application for calculating energy savings and costs for pump, fan and compressor applications.
It is a useful tool for estimating the best and most economical pump and fan solution, and is now available with
a Fast Savings mode that further simplifies calculations.

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