Innovative Victorian Dairy Farmer off the grid with bioenergy

A dairy farmer in northern Victorian was ‘ticked off’ at the high cost of connecting grid power to another part of his dairy farming property, and decided some changes had to be made. Instead of spending his money on a ‘sticks and wires’ utility power supply and then having to pay quarterly power bills, he decided to invest in bioenergy and run off the grid. No more utility power bills and a more environmentally friendly option too!

A Bioenergy Solution for Dairy Farms

We combined the dairy cow poo with other wastes available on the farm and fed these into an anaerobic digester to produce biogas.  The anaerobic digester included a series of baffles to retain the solids and enhance the methane value of the biogas, while the effluent from this anaerobic baffled reactor, or AnBR, was filtered through ceramic membranes. The clean filtered water was suitable to be reused in different areas around the farm, while the concentrated dirty water was recirculated back into the digester for further breakdown and even more biogas production. The membrane addition to the AnBR, known as a mAnBR (because we just love our acronyms) maximises the biogas yield from a relatively small herd of dairy cows.

Sustainable Biogas Options for Canola

The dairy farmer also grew canola on the property and crushed it for oil. Some of this oil was processed into biodiesel for powering his plant and equipment. The byproducts from the transesterification conversion from canola oil into biodiesel were also fed into the mAnBR as they produce very high biogas volumes.

A 4.3L, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engined CHP of 88 KVA capacity was then configured to run on a combination of biodiesel and biogas to provide bioenergy, eliminating the need for grid power and fossil fuels.

This was a fascinating project, and demonstrates what can be done on a smaller scale with Australian ingenuity. If you have any questions regarding this case study, or how Inoplex can help your farm with sustainable bioenergy solutions, give us a call today. We can discuss the options suitable for your needs, so consider changing to a bioenergy alternative for your business now.