EnviTec Biogas

EnviTec Biogas, Germany’s first biogas plant manufacturer, has its U.S. operations located in Skaneateles, NY. EnviTec works with farmers to build biogas production plants and establish another revenue stream for the farm. Because energy generated from biogas is not subject to price fluctuations, it represents a reliable revenue source for farmers.

In order to utilize waste from the farm, in this case dairy cow manure, EnviTec designs and builds biogas systems that use a large digester to turn manure into energy in the form of heat and electricity. This electricity can be used to run the dairy farm and ultimately sell back to the grid.

The Problem

During one particular project, EnviTec Biogas was building 2 biogas digester systems at two separate dairy farms in upstate N.Y. Unfortunately, the projects were both in full swing through the winter months and the frigid temperatures that accompany them. These low temperatures represented a big issue, as the manure digesters only produce biogas when the nearly 2 million gallons of manure is kept at 100 degrees Fahrenheit - this allows the enclosed microorganisms to digest the manure and produce their biogas.

In a fully functioning digester, this heat is generated by the CHP unit (combined heat and power) - a 600 KW generator that uses the produced biogas to provide heat to the digester through a heating loop. More importantly however, the CHP unit also produces electricity that the dairy farms can use and then sell back any excess to the grid.

This crucial CHP unit is typically the last component to be completed in the construction of the digester system, meaning both projects found themselves with an immediate solution to power their digester’s heating and electrical operations.

The Solution

Tasked with finding a quick, durable solution that perfectly fit the needs of the project, Powerhouse delivered two 50 HP Portable Boiler Rooms to each digester being constructed. Both of these portable boiler rooms were placed next to the newly constructed digesters, and hard piped to the heating loop within the digesters.

Each portable boiler room supplied 80 GPM of Hydronic Hot Water with a supply temperature of 180o F. This hot water loop to the digester maintained a manure temperature perfect for producing the essential biogas and electricity.

The Results

By providing the boilers in a timely and efficient manner, the 2 million gallons of manure in each digester was kept at the proper temperature for the microorganisms to produce biogas. This has allowed the digesters to produce the vital gas and electricity while construction and installation of the permanent CHP unit is completed.

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