Modular Renewable Energy: Green Benefits of Going Modular

April 19, 2024
Safety & Quality
Fabrication & Construction
Detail Engineering & Design
Front-end Planning

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In this article, we will look at the advantages of using modular renewable energy and modular construction in renewable energy design and what makes the modular approach more environmentally friendly.

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Modular construction can be used in several types of renewable energy projects. For some projects and in certain applications, modular construction can reduce waste, on-site disruptions, and even curb carbon emissions associated with traditional construction. Further, modular skid-built systems can be used to optimize an existing facility’s ability to reduce environmental pollution, and they can also be used to optimize the design and outcome of renewable energy projects. 

In this article, we will look at the advantages of modular renewable energy and what makes the modular approach more environmentally friendly.

Modular Renewable Energy

Modular construction has experienced renewed interest over the past few decades, offering an alternative to traditional, stick-built construction. In some project applications, pre-fabricated, customizable solutions can help streamline construction while expanding and modifying an existing facility's renewable energy capacity. 

Modular process systems are assembled in steel-reinforced frames (skids) and tested off-site, helping to control safety and quality and reducing onsite disruptions and waste. In many cases, skidded systems can be deployed and integrated into a facility’s existing operations quickly and with minimal disruptions to ongoing operations. 

Skidded Systems and Renewable Energy Applications

Modular process systems can be applied in several different applications of renewable energy projects, from renewable natural gas skids to water injection, compressor, and refrigeration units in biomass energy production and solar thermal systems. Below, we’ve listed a few modular process systems and their potential renewable energy applications.

Modular Process Systems:
Potential Application

Pipe Rack Modules

Geothermal energy projects to support fluid transport

Water Injection Skids

Geothermal energy to maintain pressure and enhance extraction

LACT Skids

Biofuel production to manage custody transfer of fluids

Compressor Skids

Biomass energy production, compressing biogas

Refrigeration Units

Solar thermal systems

Metering Skids

Biofuel and solar thermal plant fluid management

Pump Skids

Fluid management in biofuel production

Loading Manifolds

Waste-to-energy plants, handling feedstock and waste

Scrubber Skids

Waste-to-energy and biomass plants

Water Treatment Modules

All renewable energy projects requiring water management

Waste Gas Skids

Capturing and treating emissions from bioenergy production

Abatement Modules

Safe treatment and detoxification of various types of gases

Natural Gas Skids

Natural gas processing and distribution 

Advantages of Modularization in Renewable Energy Projects

Modular construction can provide several advantages when matched to case-specific criteria, including improved efficiency, reduced construction times and costs, and minimal onsite and environmental disruptions. The extent to which these benefits can be realized depends on many criteria, including location, project type, and management. 

Pre-fabricated modular solutions can reduce construction and installation time for projects with short completion timeframes. However, while the technology holds the potential to optimize renewable energy projects, its most substantial benefits are best harnessed when there is a clear alignment between project requirements and what modular construction can offer.

Challenges and Solutions

If you’re considering integrating modular technologies into your capital project, choosing to work with the right Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor will be one of your most important decisions. Working with a contractor well-versed in the specific application and industry of your project will be invaluable for several reasons: 

  1. Industry-Specific Knowledge: Renewable energy projects present unique technical and logistical challenges. A contractor with established sector-specific experience will understand and address these challenges.
  2. Customization for Specific Energy Contexts: A contractor with relevant experience will be skilled at customizing modular solutions and optimizing the design and functionality of modular units.
  3. Integration Capabilities: It’s essential to work with a contractor with prior experience in the targeted application who will have the necessary skills to ensure that new modular components communicate and function properly with existing assets.

Partner with H+M Modular for Custom Fabricated Equipment, Modules, and Skids

If you're considering a modular renewable energy project, working with the right EPC contractor with established experience in your industry and your targeted application is critical to overcoming these projects' inherent risks and challenges. Working with an expert can help ensure your project adheres to important regulations and is designed and deployed to achieve the best results. 

H+M’s modular group specializes in designing and fabricating truckable modules providing exceptional capital project execution from concept to start-up for clients across the United States. From our engineering and fabrication headquarters in Houston, Texas, we can transport your project to wherever you are. For over three decades, we have provided end-to-end solutions for a wide range of project sizes within the energy, chemical, terminals, and logistics industries.

We are dedicated to providing trust, experience, and efficiency through all stages of engineering, procurement, and construction through our proven strategic EPC approach. Our comprehensive services, including front-end planning, detail engineering and design, procurement, fabrication, and construction, allow us to take your modular process plant project from conception to completion, tailoring engineering and design solutions to meet your unique needs.

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For over three decades, we have provided best-in-class capital project management services to Energy and Chemical industries through our proven EPC approach. We are dedicated to providing trust, experience, and efficiency through all stages of engineering, procurement, and construction--on budget and on time.

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