SERVICES & TECHNOLOGIES

Our consulting services aim to make sure you get the best energy solution. We can analyse your energy usage to find the best fit for your application, taking technical details and economics into account to make sure the project delivers the energy you require and returns for your investment. We also offer full project design, design reviews, and can provide information and advice for green energy grant applications.

We conduct a range of technical engineering studies, including:

  • Energy usage, costing, and efficiency studies
  • Feasibility studies assessing civil, mechanical and electrical design
  • Acoustic studies
  • Plume studies
  • Earthing and lightning protection studies
  • Electrical power system studies including load flows, fault level studies, protection and relay setting studies, etc.

We conduct these studies in house, which enables easy communication and cooperation with our clients. Our first-hand experience with technical studies ensures efficient implementation of projects, and our experience with practical projects in turn informs our engineering studies.

Our natural gas powered tri & co-generation plants provide on-site power while recovering the thermal energy to provide hot water, steam or chilled water. We customize each installation to make sure you get the best fit for your needs, and that the plant is fully integrated with other systems on the site. We offer turn-key contracts covering everything from concept through to completion. We also offer build-own-operate contracts at no cost to you – we can build and pay for our own co/tri-generation plant, and supply you the energy while providing economic benefits and carbon footprint reduction.

Co-and tri-generation designs can be combined with biomass to energy technology such as bio-gas, landfill gas or syngas applications in order to capture the benefits of both, resulting in high efficiency applications running on green energy.

We provide a range of custom projects including gas flares and burners, heat storage solutions, and have worked on R&D applications including the prototyping phase of our own biomass pyrolysis plant. We can also modify and optimise existing installations if further customization is needed.

We always take a flexible approach to our projects and work with our customers to provide the best solution to their individual needs.

Our diesel power projects provide robust and reliable standby power for power-critical applications such as hospitals, data centers and peaking stations. Automatic control systems allow for instant response, providing power within seconds of a blackout and allowing for a seamless transition back to mains power when it returns.

Biomass Pyrolysis and Biochar

Our Story

SDA is a pioneer in the biomass-to-energy field. As a natural progression from our broad experience with sewage gas and landfill gas applications, we have researched and developed opportunities to utilise various “dry” type residue or waste materials such as timber, straw, chicken litter, etc.

Since 2010 SDA Engineering has been involved in developing a biomass-to-energy technology which is based on pyrolysis of timber residue and waste materials, with the aim of creating clean syngas energy, heat, power, biochar, and wood vinegar. Following up on initial research work conducted on a prototype unit in regional WA, we have built the first trial project at the Holla Fresh greenhouse in Tantanoola, SA (see our past projects page for more information on the Holla Fresh project).

The development of this technology has used a holistic approach, covering all aspects of the project life cycle from feasibility and conceptual design through to installation, commissioning and post-commissioning operation. Through this, we have gained a wealth of experience and operational data which we draw on in order to facilitate reliable operation of the pilot plant, and continue to use to further refine our designs and operational techniques in order to give the best results.

The Process

The technology uses a unique application of pyrolysis and gasification processes. These processes were industry staples for decades, only displaced by the discovery of more abundant natural gas reserves in recent times. However, growing awareness of climate change and the resulting demand for a zero-carbon energy economy has seen a renewed surge of interest in biomass energy sources, as well as carbon capture & sequestration. This system achieves both of these objectives while delivering solid returns on investment. It also delivers strong environmental benefits, comparing favourably even to most other renewable energies (which are at best carbon neutral), since carbon sequestration in the biochar makes the  process strongly carbon negative.

The process converts a biomass feedstock into a combustible synthesis gas (syngas), bio-char, and wood vinegar. The syngas then can be used to generate heat, horticultural CO2 and potentially electric power, while the biochar and wood vinegar are market commodities in themselves. This no-waste, carbon-negative process can be summarised as follows:

Advantages of the Developed Pyrolysis System

Feedstock

The design of the process allows it to run on a variety of feedstocks, giving it the ability to convert unwanted waste materials such as straw or timber residue, construction and demolition timber, etc. into useful products. In contrast, some other pyrolysers and gasifiers require very specific feedstock (e.g. pelletized biomass or very finely pounded particles) which limits their range of application and can require significant additional cost and energy to prepare.

Efficiency

The process achieves high thermal efficiency, allowing it to operate as a self-sustaining process (whereby heat generated in part of the process is used in other parts), and so the process as a whole does not require any external energy source apart from small amounts of electricity to power the machine itself. This is in contrast to some conventional gasifiers, which can require significant external energy sources.

Fully Automated Continuous Process

A pyrolysis unit is designed to be fully automated, unmanned, and to operate using a continuous process. This is in contrast to many competing char-making systems which use batch processing, often requiring significant work by the operator to manually remove char and add new biomass for each batch. The continuous nature of the process is also a big advantage when scaling up to larger applications.

Uses of Biochar

Soil Additive

Biochar is an excellent soil additive, providing organic matter, improving water retention, and reducing nitrogen drawdown. It has been shown to significantly improve soil and plant health in many applications including growing rice, cotton, avocados, barley, maize, mustard, grapes, etc.

Animal Feed Additive

Biochar as an additive to animal feed is an emerging potential market based on known practices in Europe, the USA, and other regions including Australia.

Asphalt Additive

Bitumen mixed with up to 25% biochar has been shown in trials in Australia and other countries to improve asphalt performance, and also sequesters carbon for the long term, offsetting the often-high carbon footprint of construction projects.

As a Fuel

Converting biomass to biochar significantly increases its energy density. For this reason, charcoal has long been used as a high-grade fuel, able to burn cleaner and at much higher temperatures than wood. Biochar can be used in the same way, e.g. for firing in kilns or furnaces.

As a Building Product

Charcoal has successfully been utilised to modify various properties of building sheets, bricks and other building products.

Activated Charcoal

Biochar can be converted to activated charcoal (a.k.a. activated carbon) by using steam or chemical treatment. Activated charcoal is a premium product, meaning this is a significant source of value addition to biochar.

Service and Maintenance

SDA Engineering is a vertically integrated company, providing services at every stage of energy projects from initial design and feasibility through detailed design, installation, commissioning, and ongoing support and maintenance. The experience we have gained from this range of tasks helps to streamline the day to day operations of the sites we maintain, as the maintenance personnel have access to engineering expertise including designers, programmers, and commissioning engineers whenever required, and in turn this contact informs the design process, meaning we design our systems with long term maintainability in mind.

SDA offers a comprehensive service and maintenance program for gas engines, diesel engines, balance of plant, and electrical systems. In addition, we are happy to offer comprehensive service agreements for large integrated systems such as co- and tri-generation systems, standby generators etc., which typically involve all of these elements.

We have trained service personnel in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and regional Victoria, and hold a range of spare parts and special tools in our premises. The team has many years of combined experience in the field and currently services and maintains a number of units across three states, under long-term service contracts for government and privately owned facilities. Our maintenance programs cover all schedules maintenance procedures plus unscheduled services as the need arises.

Our experience operating and maintaining our own installations and others has provided a wealth of knowledge. We understand the importance of minimising downtime, and we take an active rather than merely reactive role in supporting our installations, promoting a preventive maintenance philosophy. Our installations are typically fitted with a comprehensive control system monitoring a range of critical parameters, and this often allows us to detect issues before they occur.

We pride ourselves on achieving excellent availability for the assets we maintain, and our company’s foundation in engineering allows us to further optimise operation to achieve the best energy efficiency, reliability, and availability of power generating assets.

Our bio-gas powered generators help you make sure all your resources are fully utilized while providing green and completely renewable energy. They can also be combined with co and tri-generation technology to provide hot water, steam or chilled water in addition to electrical power. These systems can be powered by gas derived from landfill, sewage, and a range of other bio-mass sources.

Utilizing energy from waste provides environmental as well as commercial benefits, and can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

CONSULTING, DESIGN & FEASIBILITY STUDIES

Our consulting services aim to make sure you get the best energy solution. We can analyse your energy usage to find the best fit for your application, taking technical details and economics into account to make sure the project delivers the energy you require and returns for your investment. We also offer full project design, design reviews, and can provide information and advice for green energy grant applications.

We conduct a range of technical engineering studies, including:

  • Energy usage, costing, and efficiency studies
  • Feasibility studies assessing civil, mechanical and electrical design
  • Acoustic studies
  • Plume studies
  • Earthing and lightning protection studies
  • Electrical power system studies including load flows, fault level studies, protection and relay setting studies, etc.

We conduct these studies in house, which enables easy communication and cooperation with our clients. Our first-hand experience with technical studies ensures efficient implementation of projects, and our experience with practical projects in turn informs our engineering studies.

NATURAL GAS PROJECTS

Our natural gas powered tri & co-generation plants provide on-site power while recovering the thermal energy to provide hot water, steam or chilled water. We customize each installation to make sure you get the best fit for your needs, and that the plant is fully integrated with other systems on the site. We offer turn-key contracts covering everything from concept through to completion. We also offer build-own-operate contracts at no cost to you – we can build and pay for our own co/tri-generation plant, and supply you the energy while providing economic benefits and carbon footprint reduction.

Co-and tri-generation designs can be combined with biomass to energy technology such as bio-gas, landfill gas or syngas applications in order to capture the benefits of both, resulting in high efficiency applications running on green energy.

CUSTOM PROJECTS

We provide a range of custom projects including gas flares and burners, heat storage solutions, and have worked on R&D applications including the prototyping phase of our own biomass pyrolysis plant. We can also modify and optimise existing installations if further customization is needed.

We always take a flexible approach to our projects and work with our customers to provide the best solution to their individual needs.

DIESEL APPLICATIONS PROJECTS

Our diesel power projects provide robust and reliable standby power for power-critical applications such as hospitals, data centers and peaking stations. Automatic control systems allow for instant response, providing power within seconds of a blackout and allowing for a seamless transition back to mains power when it returns.

BIOMASS PYROLYSIS & BIOCHAR

Biomass Pyrolysis and Biochar

Our Story

SDA is a pioneer in the biomass-to-energy field. As a natural progression from our broad experience with sewage gas and landfill gas applications, we have researched and developed opportunities to utilise various “dry” type residue or waste materials such as timber, straw, chicken litter, etc.

Since 2010 SDA Engineering has been involved in developing a biomass-to-energy technology which is based on pyrolysis of timber residue and waste materials, with the aim of creating clean syngas energy, heat, power, biochar, and wood vinegar. Following up on initial research work conducted on a prototype unit in regional WA, we have built the first trial project at the Holla Fresh greenhouse in Tantanoola, SA (see our past projects page for more information on the Holla Fresh project).

The development of this technology has used a holistic approach, covering all aspects of the project life cycle from feasibility and conceptual design through to installation, commissioning and post-commissioning operation. Through this, we have gained a wealth of experience and operational data which we draw on in order to facilitate reliable operation of the pilot plant, and continue to use to further refine our designs and operational techniques in order to give the best results.

The Process

The technology uses a unique application of pyrolysis and gasification processes. These processes were industry staples for decades, only displaced by the discovery of more abundant natural gas reserves in recent times. However, growing awareness of climate change and the resulting demand for a zero-carbon energy economy has seen a renewed surge of interest in biomass energy sources, as well as carbon capture & sequestration. This system achieves both of these objectives while delivering solid returns on investment. It also delivers strong environmental benefits, comparing favourably even to most other renewable energies (which are at best carbon neutral), since carbon sequestration in the biochar makes the  process strongly carbon negative.

The process converts a biomass feedstock into a combustible synthesis gas (syngas), bio-char, and wood vinegar. The syngas then can be used to generate heat, horticultural CO2 and potentially electric power, while the biochar and wood vinegar are market commodities in themselves. This no-waste, carbon-negative process can be summarised as follows:

Advantages of the Developed Pyrolysis System

Feedstock

The design of the process allows it to run on a variety of feedstocks, giving it the ability to convert unwanted waste materials such as straw or timber residue, construction and demolition timber, etc. into useful products. In contrast, some other pyrolysers and gasifiers require very specific feedstock (e.g. pelletized biomass or very finely pounded particles) which limits their range of application and can require significant additional cost and energy to prepare.

Efficiency

The process achieves high thermal efficiency, allowing it to operate as a self-sustaining process (whereby heat generated in part of the process is used in other parts), and so the process as a whole does not require any external energy source apart from small amounts of electricity to power the machine itself. This is in contrast to some conventional gasifiers, which can require significant external energy sources.

Fully Automated Continuous Process

A pyrolysis unit is designed to be fully automated, unmanned, and to operate using a continuous process. This is in contrast to many competing char-making systems which use batch processing, often requiring significant work by the operator to manually remove char and add new biomass for each batch. The continuous nature of the process is also a big advantage when scaling up to larger applications.

Uses of Biochar

Soil Additive

Biochar is an excellent soil additive, providing organic matter, improving water retention, and reducing nitrogen drawdown. It has been shown to significantly improve soil and plant health in many applications including growing rice, cotton, avocados, barley, maize, mustard, grapes, etc.

Animal Feed Additive

Biochar as an additive to animal feed is an emerging potential market based on known practices in Europe, the USA, and other regions including Australia.

Asphalt Additive

Bitumen mixed with up to 25% biochar has been shown in trials in Australia and other countries to improve asphalt performance, and also sequesters carbon for the long term, offsetting the often-high carbon footprint of construction projects.

As a Fuel

Converting biomass to biochar significantly increases its energy density. For this reason, charcoal has long been used as a high-grade fuel, able to burn cleaner and at much higher temperatures than wood. Biochar can be used in the same way, e.g. for firing in kilns or furnaces.

As a Building Product

Charcoal has successfully been utilised to modify various properties of building sheets, bricks and other building products.

Activated Charcoal

Biochar can be converted to activated charcoal (a.k.a. activated carbon) by using steam or chemical treatment. Activated charcoal is a premium product, meaning this is a significant source of value addition to biochar.

SERVICE & MAINTENANCE

Service and Maintenance

SDA Engineering is a vertically integrated company, providing services at every stage of energy projects from initial design and feasibility through detailed design, installation, commissioning, and ongoing support and maintenance. The experience we have gained from this range of tasks helps to streamline the day to day operations of the sites we maintain, as the maintenance personnel have access to engineering expertise including designers, programmers, and commissioning engineers whenever required, and in turn this contact informs the design process, meaning we design our systems with long term maintainability in mind.

SDA offers a comprehensive service and maintenance program for gas engines, diesel engines, balance of plant, and electrical systems. In addition, we are happy to offer comprehensive service agreements for large integrated systems such as co- and tri-generation systems, standby generators etc., which typically involve all of these elements.

We have trained service personnel in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and regional Victoria, and hold a range of spare parts and special tools in our premises. The team has many years of combined experience in the field and currently services and maintains a number of units across three states, under long-term service contracts for government and privately owned facilities. Our maintenance programs cover all schedules maintenance procedures plus unscheduled services as the need arises.

Our experience operating and maintaining our own installations and others has provided a wealth of knowledge. We understand the importance of minimising downtime, and we take an active rather than merely reactive role in supporting our installations, promoting a preventive maintenance philosophy. Our installations are typically fitted with a comprehensive control system monitoring a range of critical parameters, and this often allows us to detect issues before they occur.

We pride ourselves on achieving excellent availability for the assets we maintain, and our company’s foundation in engineering allows us to further optimise operation to achieve the best energy efficiency, reliability, and availability of power generating assets.

BIO-GAS & LANDFILL GAS PROJECTS

Our bio-gas powered generators help you make sure all your resources are fully utilized while providing green and completely renewable energy. They can also be combined with co and tri-generation technology to provide hot water, steam or chilled water in addition to electrical power. These systems can be powered by gas derived from landfill, sewage, and a range of other bio-mass sources.

Utilizing energy from waste provides environmental as well as commercial benefits, and can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Contact us to enquire about our tailor-made energy solutions

Phone: (08) 8132 3300