Biosolids to Generate Renewable Energy for Farms in the UK

Farms have had to deal with a lot of organic waste from all the livestock and crops that are otherwise not utilised as effectively as they could be. A new hybrid system from Bioplex and Controllis in the U.K. aim to utilize biosolids to generate renewable energy.

What they have developed is a self-contained onsite farm waste solution, which uses a combination of biogas from anaerobic digestion and solar power. This in turn is used to power a DC generator that can be used to provide energy for the farm.

Because farms are usually located in remote rural areas, getting reliable electricity to these locations can become costly. This hybrid solution from Bioplex and Controllis could address these issues.

“Farmers face higher electricity and fertiliser costs and waste storage and spreading that’s subject to more regulations and costs. Bioplex and Controllis have solved both challenges,” according to Chris Reynell, Managing Director of Bioplex.

Bioplex created a pre-digester with a high throughput for the processing a wide variety of animal and food waste and turn them into natural fertiliser and biogas. Meanwhile, Controllis provides the generator technology that runs on biogas to generate electricity.

Their patented design provides a low footprint and offers fast, easy deployment. The digester can use slurry, farmyard and horse stable manure, collected pasture toppings along with crop waste while simultaneously controlling parasites, pathogens, weeds and odour and minimising production of excess liquid. The resulting natural fertiliser is easy to apply, and is cheaper compared to conventional slurry spreading.

Bioplex claims that their system is 20% more efficient at biogas production and can filter out non-fuel generating and damaging materials such as grit and sand. The system can produce biogas in a 30-minute period providing clean, almost instant energy production.

Controllis provides a biogas-powered 12kW DC Genset generator to go along with solar power arrays, battery banks and 75kW AC Mains Inverters. Their system also provides cloud-based remote management and data analytics to enable farmers and landowners to understand, control and optimise system performance.

The energy that their system generates can be used around the farm for processes such as milking, pasteurisation, lighting, grain drying, cleaning, storage, and to provide power for the whole property. Any excess energy can be sold to the grid generating additional revenue for the farm.

The generator technology they developed for their system was designed to be more efficient than conventional generators thereby reducing biogas use.

To mitigate slow periods when no biogas is being produced, a system of solar panels with battery packs will kick in to provide additional power.

Reynell explains that they chose to partner with Controllis because of their innovative approach and ability to efficiently link power generated from biogas with solar, wind and micro hydro which are all renewable and low carbon energy sources.

“All aspects of the system have been optimised to maximise energy production, recycle farm waste as effectively and efficiently as possible and minimise the impact to the environment. Ultimately, this means that farms can now be self-sufficient, provide their own independent, reliable power, save (and potentially make money on) electricity costs and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Lance Davidson, Vice President of Engineering at Controllis.

If you are a municipality in Ontario and in need of a biosolids management solution, please feel free to contact us on 1 (877) 479-1388.


Biosolids to Generate Renewable Energy for Farms in the UK
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