Friday, April 24, 2015

ENER-G Biogas CHP Technology Will Raise Small Commercial Anaerobic Digestion Plant Profitability

We are delighted to have been sent, (and publish) the following press release, which we believe is very good news for existing AD Plant owners, and also those considering jumping into the AD Renewable energy business.

If you are not quite sure what a CHP Unit is, let me just tell you that it stands for Combined Heat and Power Unit. If that still means nothing let me tell you that you are not alone! The renewable energy sector badly needs to come up some new ways of describing what CHP is!

Putting the jargon to one side. This CHP Unit takes the heat which, without it, would go into one of those cooling systems you see on the top of biogas power containers, you know those ISO Containers which contain those gas engines (electrical power generators) which hum away all day and night. It converts that heat in a heat exchanger, into hot water.

The hot water produced is the piped to a place where it can be used. That can be anything from heating the domestic radiators in homes, to providing hot water for an industrial process in a factory. 

With a CHP Unit, farmers can heat their own greenhouses, and barns, seeing an immediate reduction in their fuel bills, or export the hot water through pipes to neighbours. So, if the CHP Unit investment cost is low enough, the profitability of biogas plants will be improved wherever they are installed. This new CHP technology appears to fit all the technical requirements, so its uptake will depend on the price to buy these CHP Units.

PRESS RELEASE: 24 April 2015

New ENER-G biogas CHP technology warms up cash returns on small scale anaerobic digestion

ENER-G has turned up the heat on the anaerobic digestion market by launching a new sub 200kwth CHP unit that maximises financial returns on both the highest rate Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed in Tariffs (FIT).
This will help to stem the shortfall from FIT digression following the 20% reduction in FIT rates last year and ongoing tariff reductions. ENER-G says that its new biogas CHP technology makes small scale anaerobic digestion viable for a wider customer base, particularly smaller farms and dairies, as well as industrial processors.
The new ENER-G E200 biogas CHP unit provides a thermal output of 195kWth (qualifying for the highest rate RHI  of 7.5p per kWth), together with an electrical output of 205kWe - at a total efficiency rating of 77.1%.
"Our UK design team have packed a mighty heat punch of 40.7% efficiency into the new E200, without compromising on high electrical efficiency of 37.6%," said ENER-G's Laurence Stephenson. "The heat efficiency for a unit of this size is unmatched in the market, which is critical in boosting RHI returns to bridge the shortfall from dwindling FIT rates.
"It will accelerate the pay back on investment - making anaerobic digestion feasible for smaller farms and other sites. This could provide a valuable lifeline for dairies, which are under huge financial pressure from falling milk prices."
ENER-G's UK R&D team has achieved the high thermal output by using a high efficiency turbo-charged MAN engine and then reducing the cooling level of exhaust gases to achieve a sub 200kWth heat output that falls below the threshold for highest rate RHI.
The  higher rate of RHI payment, available only to sub 200 kWth sites, provides  customers with an extra 1.6p per kWth compared to the next tariff band for sub 600kWth sites. This provides a guaranteed income over 20 years that increases with inflation.
FiTs are payable on electricity generated from a CHP unit of this size at the highest current rate of 10.13p per kWh..
At current rates, a typical farm or dairy operating the E200 on a 24-hour cycle at 92% availability would receive annual payments of £167,361 for FITs and £117,866 for RHI - amounting to a total guaranteed 20-year income of up to  £5.7 million. This would be around £455,340 more than the lifetime income from the lower band RHI tariff.
Government grants of up to £10,000 are available to UK farmers to undertake anaerobic digestion feasibility studies.
Laurence Stephenson added: "Many pre-accredited anaerobic digestion projects are stalling because of finance issues, particularly due to FIT digression. But with guaranteed higher rate returns from RHI, a typical small scale anaerobic digestion project should offer a payback within four years, providing a guaranteed profit stream thereafter. ENER-G's maintenance package guarantees a minimum 92% availability of power and heat production - providing added certainty in negotiating finance".
The ENER-G CHP system can be supplied in a container on a 'plug and play' basis - simplifying and speeding up the commissioning process, which must take place within 12 months of pre-accreditation approval.
For the past 30 years ENER-G has been European market leader in small scale CHP (4kWe to over 10MWe). The company has developed  over 170MW of  biogas power generation from AD, landfill, and associated gases. ENER-G provides a complete package - from design and manufacture of CHP systems - to installation, commissioning and finance - through to maintenance and service via its national engineering team. It also supplies pre-treatment technology required to clean and dry biogas from digestion processes, such as effluent and AD.
Further information is availabe at:

We would love to hear about your experiences with biogas plant CHP generally, and specifically for this and any other Anaerobic Digester Sites, of which you are aware. Just add a comment, and we will publish your non-spammy comments.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Clever Re-use of Pre-cast Concrete in World War II Hangar for AD Plant Feed Storage

Whites Concrete has recently provided an innovative storage solution for the "Northern Crop Driers" Anaerobic Digestion Plant, and we think that the way in which this new use has been found for a historic World War II aircraft hangar, will interest many people.

Based south east of York at the former RAF Melbourne, Northern Crop Driers has successfully utilised pre-cast panels from Whites Concrete to maximise silage storage for its AD plant. 
Leading manufacturers of dried grass horse feeds that are virtually identical to fresh grass, Northern Crop Driers needed a clamp capable of storing 6,000 tonnes of silage in an old hangar at its Melrose Farm base. With a roof height limiting the maneuverability of machinery to compress the stored material, 
Whites Concrete were called upon to create a design that would use the space to full effect, keeping silage dry and clean whilst ensuring that load demands would meet the bulk density. The safely stored maize, grass silage (plus some sugar beet), and slurry from sister company Melrose Pigs, provides feedstock for the 500kW AD plant. 
Pam Dear from the family-owned and run business said: “Investing in an AD plant made perfect sense here because it brings everything together.
With our pigs and grass drying business, we knew we could generate our own green electricity, but first we had to bring in a whole year’s worth of crop, so getting our storage facility right was crucial”. 
Whites Concrete worked closely with Northern Crop Driers to initially provide two designs, including one with metalwork, but 4m concrete panels were ultimately chosen as the best solution. Pam Dear added: “We were determined to utilise every inch of the hangar to give us 6,000 tonnes of storage, so Whites’ expertise in materials and load-bearing requirements was invaluable”. 
Over a period of one month, 150No 4m high (1m wide) Whites Concrete panels were installed at the 750-acre Melrose Farm, where grass, home grown maize and supplies from neighbouring farms combine with the pig slurry to produce enough power for everything required on site, with excess sold on to the grid. L-shape Groundwall panels from Whites Concrete were considered the most suitable option so as not to create any additional load bearing onto the existing structure of the old hangar. 
Ideal as push-walls to resist machinery loads, extreme heights of storage and areas where heavy traffic will be working, Groundwall is hygienic, as well as far quicker and more economical than block or in-situ concrete. 
Pam Dear continued:
 “Despite being a higher cost, the pre-cast concrete panels from Whites Concrete are actually much cheaper to install. We produce high quality horse feed from 100% natural, home grown grass, which takes up a good chunk of power to dry out, so in the not too distant future we also hope to harness the heat from our AD plant for that part of our business. Going into AD production has given us more stability. It is helping both of our businesses grow and shows that we are serious about sustainability”. 

The high quality of the digestate at Melrose Farm is also proving a winner, with its valuable nutrients producing healthier grasses. It has helped make a big reduction on bought-in fertiliser. Following the success of the silage clamp, 
Northern Crop Driers has since extended the storage facility by an additional 4,000 tonnes, installing a further 90 No 3m high pre-cast concrete panels from Whites Concrete to create 10,000 tonnes of silage space for the AD plant. 
These extra panels are from Whites Concrete’s Rockwall range, which achieves a finished concrete strength in excess of 60N for any above or below ground construction.
 “Moving into AD is a very good fit with our business model”, concluded Pam Dear.
“We produce 100% natural horse feeds and bedding, and now we generate our own on-site green power, with a payback of just five to six years”. 
Historical Note:  RAF Melbourne was a Royal Air Force station during the Second World War. In the late 1940s the airfield was used by Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys of 10-Squadron as a relief landing ground for RAF Leeming near Northallerton, just south of Darlington. The squadron continued with operation until March 1945. 
 It lost 109 aircraft. Unusually, Melbourne was equipped with FIDO (Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation). This made the RAF station a popular diversion airfield for other squadrons returning from operations to Yorkshire. The [smoke making] device consisted of two pipelines situated along both sides of the runway, through which fuel was pumped, and then out through burner jets positioned at intervals.
Although very large volumes of fuel were consumed, FIDO more than made up for the costs involved by reducing aircraft losses
This very much follows the ethos of Anaerobic Digestion. Re-use of existing facilities certainly avoids carbon emissions, and in this case the solution chosen also avoids changing the historic structure, by any more than is essential. Well done, Northern Crop Driers, and Whites Concrete!

Tel: 01924 464 283
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Ravensthorpe Road, Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, WF12 9EF