Frequently Asked Questions
How many people can be served by one HelioStorm-based system?
We project that the HelioStorm can process approximately 4 tons per day of normal MSW (the
waste generated from approximately 1,600 people). It would provide the electricity for between
100 and 150 households.
Can I bundle several units together to process higher amounts of MSW?
What do I do if my needs change and the system I have cannot process all the waste I have?
Depending on the way your system was configured initially, it may be possible to add additional
units to the process train. In some cases, simply adding another CES system may prove ideal.
Redundancy and scalability are key features of the HelioStorm gasifier.
Can I move the system to different locations when I need to?
Depending on the specific configuration of your system, it may be possible to relocate the facility to a different site. If this is likely to be a requirement, your system may be customized to include more mobility-oriented features such as containerized packaging, self-contained cooling, and flexible power connections.
What is the typical layout of a decentralized HelioStorm-based MSW plant, shredder and auxiliary systems?
This can best be answered by your CES representative based on your specific needs. As a
general guide, we suggest a space of approximately 75’ L x 40’ W x 12’ H. Additional space may
be required for feedstock storage. Opportunities exist to optimize the space requirements.
What site prep and site security do I need for a HelioStorm gasifier?
● SPACE: A fully operating gasifier will require a pad of approximately 500 ft space will be determined by the auxiliary equipment needs.
● POWER: A Minimum of 300 amps, 3-phase, 480 volts is required. It can be provided by local grid power, or by an on-site generator
● SECURITY: TBD by local needs.
● WATER: In most cases, minimal local water is required. The gasifier is internally cooled with a closed loop system. The creation of clean syngas eliminates the need for large amounts of water during post-production cleanup.
● CLIMATE CONTROL: Your CES representative will be able to assist you in determining the needs for your application.
How much energy is required to start the process and keep the process going?
A basic system with a HelioStorm Gasifier can use as much as 200 kW of power to start up and run. This can be provided from grid power or from a stand-alone generator. Once started, this energy can be provided by the electrical generator attached for electricity production.
What are the different requirements when the system is in a high heat, low temperature, salt water or high humidity environment?
The HelioStorm gasifier is robust; however the specifics of your site will always need to be addressed in order to determine any specific adaptations to the equipment.
How does the electricity generated get into our grid?
Electricity produced within a HelioStorm-based system can be tied into an existing power grid like any other independent power producer, through an established interconnect process with the utility.
Alternatively, in some cases the system can be connected “behind the meter” at a customer’s location.
What is the expected System longevity?
We anticipate a lifetime of 25 years for the gasifier. Other components (shredders, gensets, etc.) will be in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications.
Is there a need to scrub for CO2?
Does the system run at 480v 60hz?
Yes. This is American standard.
Can the system support other voltage/hz specs?
Most OEM equipment providers for the balance of the plant can provide systems to the power specs of the location.
How often does the gasifier have to be shut down for maintenance?
Our recommendation is that the system be shut down for examination and possible maintenance after each 1,000 hours of use. This shutdown should require no more than 1 day.
Does the high operating temperatures of the plasma affect the longevity of the equipment?
There may be some variability based on the specifics of your application. Your CES representative will be able to provide you with detailed information related to this question.
How many personnel are needed to operate the HelioStorm per shift?
One person per shift is required to be present during system operation.
In a fully operational end-to-end system, how many additional people are needed to operate the HelioStorm?
No additional people are required to operate the HelioStorm portion of a system.
What type of expertise is required to run a Plasma gasification plant?
The system has been designed to be operated by someone with the equivalent training of a Private in the military.
What is the operational cycle? Does the system shut down for batch processing? What is the size of one batch?
Our system operates on a continuous feed-through process.
Can I run the system for short periods of time in high demand situations, or to fill in a base load?
Yes, either can be done. Warm restarts and shut-down typically take under 15 minutes, allowing the system to be used on demand.
What is used to start up the process (electricity, propane, gas?)
The start up process is dependent on the application and the location. Your CES representative will be able to assist you in evaluating your needs.
Are there any issues / monitoring of the exhaust effluent?
The needs of the location will be defined in your installation documentation. The system is a closed loop with no materials released into the environment. There are multiple safety processes designed into the system to protect employees.
What size does the waste have to be for Plasma gasification?
The size and conformation of the feedstock will vary based on several factors including density, buoyancy and moisture. For MSW we expect that particles with diameters on the order of approximately 0.5” will be used.
What happens to residuals from the gasification process?
Residuals from the gasification process are in the form of inert vitrified particles that can be disposed of in landfills or used as construction material.
Are there any safety hazards to operating the unit?
We recommend observing all standard safety precautions. Always recognize hazards generally associated with equipment operating at these electrical loads; hazards generally associated with operating heavy equipment; and hazards generally associated with potential exposure to the heat of the expelled syngas. We recommend attention to providing air circulation to protect against any potential issues with any unexpected release of gases. Procedures will be outlined for you based on the specifics of your application. Training of operating personnel will include safety instructions.
What are the noise levels of the HelioStorm while it is running?
The HelioStorm itself produces virtually no noise. The only noise created is from any fans used in association with the chillers. Speak to your CES representative to determine what additional noise will be created by peripheral equipment.
What gases are released into the environment?
This will depend on the final output created from the syngas delivered from the HelioStorm. When operated according to recommended guidelines and for the purpose of generating electricity, the only gases released into the environment are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) from the electricity generator(s). The rest of the system is a closed loop. When the output syngas is used to create liquid fuels or hydrogen, there are virtually no gases released.
If the HelioStorm process produces hydrogen gas, what is the potential for explosions?
- The potential for an explosion is very low because the HelioStorm is designed to automatically shut down well before any conditions exist that may cause an explosion to
- The volume inside the HelioStorm is extremely small and there is very little hydrogen inside the HelioStorm at any given time.
Your CES representative can provide additional information regarding this question.
What are the ES&H standard hazards, and should I be worried about them?
All units will be designed to meet the strictest applicable health and safety regulations.
The onsite operator will receive initial training from Cogent technical support on all aspects of system safety as well as how to operate the system safely.
Are there any issues / monitoring of the exhaust effluent?
Your CES representative will be able to provide information regarding this issue based on the specifics of your application.
What is the cost of a single 4 TpD system?
Your CES representative can provide you with information regarding pricing of the HelioStorm for your application and can assist you in estimating the costs of a full system.
Can you finance the purchase for me?
Your CES representative can address this issue for you and your specific application.
What are the annual operating costs?
Your CES representative will be able to provide information based on your specific application.
What is the price of power in a typical CES system?
This depends on many factors, including the energy content of the waste stream on-site, the cost of the particular peripherals configured for the specific site requirements, the cost of labor and other local conditions, and so on. Your Cogent representative will assist you in determining these numbers.
Who is responsible for the warranties on all the different pieces of equipment?
Your system integrator or EPC will provide you with the appropriate warranties from the OEM suppliers. Cogent will provide a warranty on the HelioStorm gasifier and any internally- integrated equipment.
Is it possible to visit the site currently running in order to observe its operation in practice?
Your CES representative will be able to address this for you.
How does the efficiency of the HelioStorm gasifier compare to other products that gasify trash?
On a per ton basis for MSW conversion our system is comparable to large scale thermal conversion technologies.
How does the HelioStorm support the concept of “distributed energy”?
The HelioStorm is particularly suited for distributed energy situations in which feedstock supplies are limited or variable.
How does the HelioStorm improve on the older air-based gasifiers and straight incineration?
Materials are processed at temperatures 5-15x those of other systems by directly immersing them in a plasma field for a complete, clean, one-step conversion to syngas comprised exclusively of small simple molecules (CO and H2), with no furans, dioxins or long-chain hydrocarbons present.
What is unique about Ionic Gasification?
- At the extreme temperatures in an Ionic Gasifier (over 3,500 0C), carbon atoms vaporize and water molecules go beyond the formation of high energy steam, go beyond the creation of H and O radicals and form extremely high energy H and O ionic species.
- In an Ionic Gasifier there is a complete breakdown of particles into atomic species, rather than just fragmentation into smaller cyclic compounds.