“By using a combined heat and power unit, our customers from agriculture, industry and public utility can be assured of getting the most from their on-site conversion of biogas, lean gas and natural gas into heat and power. And this is what CHP is all about: turning energy into power, efficiency and yield,” points out Managing Director Bernd Brendel, who took over the management of SCHNELL Motoren in May 2017. “It is one of the secrets of our success that we focus on small on-site energy generation solutions as they are much more efficient than large power plants.”
And indeed, SCHNELL Motoren has a proven record of supplying on-site CHP systems that lose less energy and produce more electrical and more heat energy in comparison to large plants. When it comes to units of up to 265 kW, SCHNELL Motoren has even attained market leadership, boasting an efficiency level of its biogas CHP unit of 45%.
“We have now developed a new injection technology in order to meet ever-increasing emission limits,” says Mr. Brendel. “The former dual fuel engines were great in terms of efficiency but are no longer suitable for new emission restrictions. That is why we have switched to a new gas injection technology, and we are working hard on reaching increased efficiency levels.”
Currently, the biogas market is driven by growing demand for balancing energy, which must be available quickly to meet energy demand in case other providers fail to supply enough electrical power to the network.
“Balancing energy is necessary due to the volatility of wind and solar energy,” points out Mr. Brendel. “We benefit greatly from this current development, as our CHP units can be switched on and off very quickly. Balancing energy has been subsidized now for two years, and since then we have seen an increasing demand for CHP units when it comes to the conversion of biogas.”
Following the takeover by TEDOM in 2016, SCHNELL Motoren was able to boost its market performance, which previously had suffered under changing general conditions. “We are well-positioned now and benefit from the synergies with our parent company. With 280 staff members, we generate a turnover of 80 million EUR, and prospects are absolutely positive,” stresses Mr. Brendel.
CHP units from SCHNELL Motoren focus on turnkey container solutions which allow for quick installation and intelligent integration into existing biogas or natural gas plants. “We provide CHP units with an output ranging from 25 to 2,000 kW. The units from 200 to 2,000 kW are developed here at our premises and are then produced in Germany or the Czech Republic,” says Mr. Brendel. “However, apart from superior solutions and a positive market development, it is essential to provide excellent service support.”
SCHNELL Motoren is involved in the project from initial planning through to installation and first operation as well as after-sales services. “Our customers cannot wait days for service and maintenance. We operate a team of 200 service technicians that is at hand within short notice. Fast and reliable services have always featured high on our corporate agenda, manifesting our excellent brand image,” says Mr. Brendel.
SCHNELL Motoren presents itself more competitive after its restructuring process. “We have been very lucky with the choice of our investor,” says Mr. Brendel. “TEDOM invested quickly and intensively, and there is no need for any external financing. We are employing new staff in almost all areas of our business. The shortage of skilled staff is probably one of the main challenges of the future. We operate a complex technology, and this is why we have to rely on skilled personnel and take vocational training into our own hands,” points out Mr. Brendel. “In general, we are highly satisfied with our recent development. We want to be present at the Biogas Convention and Trade Fair in December 2017, and we will continue to work on new injection technology to continuously improve the performance of our CHP units.”