Stiesdal SkyClean partners with KK Wind Solutions

Stiesdal successfully launched SkyClean, an innovative industrial-scale carbon capture and bioenergy plant. KK Wind Solutions played a vital role as a sub-supplier on the project.

In 2022, Stiesdal partnered with KK Wind Solutions to design and develop a comprehensive control system for an ambitious carbon capture and bioenergy plant. With KK Wind Solutions’ expertise in control panels and power management, we delivered both control systems hardware and application software, covering eight different panels and 15 subsystems. This close collaboration underlines the facility’s large-scale and commercial potential, marking significant progress in the field of carbon capture.

An ambitious & innovative project
To address the climate crisis effectively, we must implement various carbon capture technologies to balance CO2 emissions effectively. These solutions must be affordable and scalable, ideally providing carbon-neutral fuels for challenging sectors—a mission at the core of the SkyClean plant’s operations.

The first SkyClean plant in Vrå, Denmark, is an ambitious 20MW pyrolysis facility. It is a scale-up project to validate the technological and commercial viability of a large-scale pyrolysis plant. This plant uniquely uses organic waste from agriculture and forestry to sequester carbon in solid biochar pellets while generating pyrolysis gas.

Due to its innovative nature, the project required extensive testing and adaptation. This required the KK Wind Solutions team to comprehensively understand every aspect of its operation, as these factors could significantly influence the control system solutions provided.

“Our deep integration and active involvement with Stiesdal have been the most vital aspects of the project. By understanding every system interconnection and structure in the SkyClean plant, we have implemented changes immediately, enabling continuous progress,” says Michael Ariel Nielsen, Vice President of Power-to-X at KK Wind Solutions.

Demonstrating agility when solving complex challenges
When the project encountered unexpected and complex challenges, agility emerged as a core project trait. One such instance occurred when the commissioning of the steam system demanded immediate attention. The KK Wind Solutions team swiftly adjusted timelines and priorities to meet Stiesdal’s deadline of two weeks, as Michael continues:

“Our response was agile—we listened, committed to a focused power sprint, and delivered the necessary software on time to meet the commissioning schedule. This collaborative effort exemplifies the agile ethos and dedication driving our project, ensuring the timely delivery of our systems.”

Changes in the plant’s physical design presented a technical challenge for the control system’s hardware and software. Operating on a single controller proved inefficient, requiring system reboots with each software update, which disrupted operations.

To counter this, the KK Wind Solutions software team collaborated with Stiesdal to implement dual controllers—a pivotal decision requiring adjustments to both hardware and software. Despite the challenges, this move proved wise, allowing the SkyClean plant to maintain operations while developing final sections.

Close collaboration secures project success
The SkyClean project’s success benefits from the close collaboration between the Stiesdal and KK Wind Solutions teams, as Eskild Strøm Panum, Head of Project Execution at Stiesdal, explains:

“Our close collaboration with KK Wind Solutions throughout this project has been dynamic and highly productive. They have been deeply involved in several design aspects, recognising the complex interrelationships among components and the implications for the control system hardware and software. KK Wind Solutions has consistently exceeded our expectations as a professional partner, showing agility, even amidst design changes necessitating redrawing plans.”  

He concludes:

“In projects like these, where no design remains unchanged, having a proactive partner who stays ahead of the development process positively impacts the outcome. When design changes occurred, the KK Wind Solutions team helped us understand the control system software’s implications and modified to these changes.”

The SkyClean plant became fully operational in Q2 2024, and efforts are now directed towards optimising its operations and fine-tuning system performance to fully harness its carbon capture potential.

About Stiesdal SkyClean
Stiesdal SkyClean develops systems for green fuel production combined with carbon capture and storage. The first SkyClean plant is located in Vrå, Denmark, a 20MW pyrolysis plant that uses organic waste from agriculture and forestry. These materials undergo pyrolysis in an oxygen-free furnace at approximately 700°C, storing carbon in biochar pellets and generating bioenergy.

Stiesdal SkyClean is part of Stiesdal, a climate technology group with activities in floating offshore wind, green hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage combined with green fuel generation.