Biogas Upgrading in Arctic Conditions: How Bright’s PurePac Arctic overcomes cold weather challenges

23 September 2019
Cold? Snow? Lack of daylight? No problem. Bright Renewables provides in biogas upgrading systems suitable for different types of weather conditions. The PurePac Arctic has been designed to withstand the extreme arctic weather and cold climate. How? One of our project managers explains more about the ins and outs of the PurePac Arctic and the challenges that have been overcome.

First, a few facts. Bright Renewables built a biomethane system in Finland, for the purification of biogas to biomethane. In Oulu to be precisely. Oulu is located in the North of Finland, very close to the arctic Polar circle, one of the five circles of latitude.
Biogas-Upgrading in-Arctic-Conditions-with-Bright-Biomethane's-PurePac

Long dark cold winter

Locations like Oulu are known for their long dark winter, with very few daylight and direct sunlight. Temperatures can drop to –40°C, daylight hours during winter are as little as only two hours a day, and heavy snowfall can occur. The sun does not even set for one full day a year and the sun also does not rise for one full day a year at locations above the arctic circle. This is what we call: arctic conditions.

Successful cold climate biomethane projects

Already up and running successfully for a few years are the Bright projects in Härnösand, Sweden and in Äänekoski, Finland. Both projects are located further away from the arctic circle, but are not inferior to the Oulu project with respect to dealing with arctic conditions. Lets find out more in just three questions.

The ins and outs of the PurePac Arctic in just 3 questions:

Bright Biomethane is constantly developing and innovating its PurePac biogas upgrading systems. Can you explain how this applies to the PurePac Arctic?

“The PurePac Arctic is resistant to the extreme cold of –40°C and has a snow-load resistance of one meter. All thanks to our smart design adjustments. The Bright Biomethane systems are in every case more or the less prefabricated. But the Arctic-design is even more characterized as prefab system, allowing as little as possible on-site work”.

Why is a prefab biogas upgrading system necessary at projects in the arctic climate?

“It is a challenge to make the system withstand extreme weather conditions, but it is also a challenge to have the system as ready as possible when being delivered on location. Imagine yourself the situation to have to build up a system in the cold, with lack of daylight, and with possible snowfall. Working conditions are far from optimal, to say the least. Being able to prefabricate the system in the Netherlands is a great solution to a fast on-site assembly, which makes the on-site team – who has to be in Oulu in December for the assembly –  a happy team”.

What are these smart design adjustments you mentioned?

“Lets start with cold. Extreme cold. The housing has extra thick floor and wall insulation, as well as the piping. Besides that, the pipes and vessels are equipped with electric heat tracing to prevent and protect against freezing. Then the snow aspect. All ventilation rosters are adapted in a way that melted snow cannot leak to the inside of the housing. Obviously, the housing is calculated to be able to carry a snow-load of one meter thick. Moreover, at projects without arctic conditions, the active carbon filters, biogas blower, and biogas cooler are located outside. All these features are inside of a housing in case of the PurePac Arctic”.