[BeN] Bio-energy Network

AUTHOR: James Stopps


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Scenario Games: Action Plan:
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The Bio-Energy Network provides thermal and electrical energy to new developments within the Thames Gateway by converting raw biomass into a syngas for use in high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plants that directly serve local mixed-use communities.
The prototype acts as a threshold between contrasting elements; the agriculture of biomass production; the industry of the gasification plants used to convert the raw fuel; and the society in which these operate. [BeN] becomes a layer between these polarities allowing for the succesful integration of the energy process into their urban context.
The CHP plant on your doorstep; the production of bio-fuels you see on your commute into work; the fields of willow through which you walk your dog; the gyms, courts, and pools you use off the back of recaptured heat. The prototype seeks to integrate the processes of energy production into everyday society. The industrial components provide a springboard for identity, supplying opportunities for social program and offering a visual key to an area. The anamorphic fins project imagery into the prototypes local context becoming a tool of propaganda or an opportunity for individual expression.
The network consists of agricultural croplands which are integrated into open parks, gasification plants for the conversion of the collected biomass into a usable fuel, and CHP plants which are fully submerged into local neighbourhoods to supply energy. The gasification plant’s integration into the urban context rely on layers of social program and an anamorphic ‘clipped-on’ identity.
Central to the prototype’s operation is the continuous recycling of carbon, which is absorbed by plant life during photosynthesis and released during combustion. The use of fluidised-bed gasifiers also allows the integration of public waste streams into the process. Waste heat from the gasification plants provide opportunites for social interaction by supplying energy to leisure and educational facilities.
The utilisation of biomass and gasification will enhance the localised production of energy as the region becomes less dependent on external sources of fuel. This is reliant on the succesful delivery of biomass from farmers in the rural and parkland zones and the cooperation of developers and energy supplies.