The biopower model is a performance- and cost-modeling tool for assessing the biomass power resource of a location. SAM can model biopower plants that use crop and wood residues as a feedstock and a grate stoker furnace, fluidized bed combustor, or cyclone furnace coupled to a steam ranking cycle for electricity generation. It can also model a supplementary coal feedstock for a co-fired plant, or completely coal-fed power plant for comparison with a biopower option. You can also specify custom feedstocks.
SAM models biomass combustion power systems. It does not model biomass digesters or gasifiers. It also does not model thermal loads for biomass power systems.
SAM can access and download data from the NREL Biofuels Atlas to quantify the type and amount of biomass available at the project location.
You specify the basic mass and energy balances for the plant's combustor and steam turbine.
SAM generates performance metrics such as heat rate, thermal efficiency, and capacity factor. It also generates financial metrics such as the levelized cost of energy (LCOE), net present value (NPV), and payback period.
Dedicated biomass power facilities are generally on the order of 1 – 60 MW, but SAM can evaluate plants of any size.