MHG Systems’ New Tool for Predicting Biomass Quality Provides Huge Savings

MHG Systems, a bioenergy focused ERP software provider from Mikkeli, Finland, has introduced a feature to the popular MHG Bioenergy ERP service, which will estimate the moisture content of biomass storages. The estimate is based on an algorithm which is built into the system. With the new feature it is possible to monitor very accurately the moisture content and value of the feedstock.

Because of the rapid increment of feedstock purchases in the near future, controlling the moisture content of the feedstock storages is growing more and more important, not only because of economical efficiency, but also because of the ecological reasons. The higher the moisture content of feedstock the smaller should be the compensation for the entrepreneur when the billing is based on the energy content, i.e. megawatts. Additionally CO2 emissions in the transportation and the amount of nitrogen and small particles during the burning process go much higher when transporting and using too wet material.

“The new service now available furthermore enhances MHG Systems’ service package and the real-time monitoring and controlling of the biomass delivery chain. Monitoring the moisture, quality and value, and the accurate documentation through every step, is an essential part of the MHG Bioenergy ERP service,” explains MHG Systems’ CEO Mr Seppo Huurinainen.

“With the moisture content algorithm implemented to the system you are now able to see the current moisture content of any biomass storage and get an estimate about how the moisture content will change during the next six months. The system shows changes in the storage moisture content with a simple graph which then helps planning when and how to process the storage in the future,” says software developer Mr Esa Hiiva. “In the future the service will also utilise data from the weather stations which will furthermore enhance the accuracy of the prediction,” continues Hiiva.

“With better moisture management the yearly savings in Finland’s forest fuel business would be millions. Savings for a middle-sized city would be €200,000 – €300,000,” emphasises Huurinainen, referring to the studies done with Metla and the University of Eastern Finland. That means 800 to 1,000 extra 60t truck loads of chips delivered to the energy plant. For a power plant this means approximately 500t of extra carbon dioxide emissions with all the parts of the delivery chain combined. “To practice ecologically and economically sustainable forest energy business there should be directing methods coming from the side that pays the financial supports,” suggests Huurinainen.

Development of the algorithm continues in the recently started Laava project coordinated by Prof. Lauri Sikanen from the University of Eastern Finland.

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