Cogeneration for Dairies

Utilising biomass energy in a dairy

Seeking a long term solution for the rising power costs involved in diaries many farmers are seeing the benefits of investing in cogeneration systems. Inoplex CHP Cogeneration technology provides an efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective power alternative using a range of fuels including biogas.

Inoplex generators supply a consistent source of back up power as well as an alternative to grid power.

Want to lower the energy bills in your business?

Inoplex are the experts at getting the most out of your energy requirements. Whether you need electricity, heating or even cooling, we can help develop a solution for you.

Enquire Today

Waste to energy solutions

Cogeneration systems capture the large portion of wasted thermal energy (around 60%) generated in power production so it can be utilised throughout the dairy process for things like space heating, water heating, or steam. This process increases the overall efficiency of the power plant to around 80 to 90%.

The Inoplex cogen generator system uses power electronics to provide clean, consistent energy when you need it. Inverter technology converts the electricity from our cogenerators to the type of electricity you need, whether it’s for machinery, pumps, refrigeration or electronic monitoring equipment.

Many farms utilise biogas generated from manure and effluent, however, there is a huge range of biogas generation options including straw, meant, organic waste, rubbish, etc. Inoplex cogenerators can run using biogas from any of these options.

Benefits of cogen for dairies

Congeneration and utilising the biogas produced on the farm to generate electricity is fairly new to the dairy industry. Inoplex CHP systems present a unique energy efficient solution for dairies using energy technology to reduce power costs in the long term.

Benefits include:

  • Reducing solid waste - often by around 50 to 80% which reduces costs involved in removal.
  • Supporting your local community - keeping your money in the local economy
  • Easily and inexpensively source replacement parts - Inoplex Cogen plant utilises motors and parts which are often readily available in rural areas.
  • Odour reduction - breaks down organic matter to biogas and destroys other odour producing gasses such as hydrogen sulphide during combustion.
  • Utilise heat from the cogenerator for heat water for cleaning or a huge range of other uses.
  • Customise the system for your waste requirements
  • Environmentally friendly - prevents harmful greenhouse gasses from being released into the environment.
  • Reliable power - remove reliance on grid electricity
  • Using biogas for combined heat and power reduces the payback period of the system set up significantly.

Other cogen fuel options

Farmers who are being hit by increasing power costs and an unreliable grid system which threatens to cripple many diaries are seeking alternative options. With some blackouts interrupting the power supply for hours halting milking and affecting cows health, efficient replacement or auxiliary power sources are becoming a necessity.

Consider the power generation alternatives

Diesel generators

Diesel generators offer a viable initial investment, however, fuel costs can cut into the margins, meaning some systems can cost more to run than grid power.

Consider this scenario - a dairy farm uses a diesel generator to produce power for milking.

1L of diesel at $1.40 produces power in a good generator at 36 cents per kW/hr. With grid power at 18 to 26 cents per kW/hr, a diesel-powered generator is running at around double the cost of grid electricity. Making this option a reliable but very expensive alternative.

While diesel generator is economically a poor power supply option, they are often invaluable to keep the dairy operating when the grid power fails.

CHP cogenerator

Converting to a CHP (combined heat and power) cogenerator provides greatly improved economics. Recovering the heat from the engine can save on heating cost throughout the business.

About half the energy in the diesel is converted to power and the other half is lost in heat. In the example above the diesel could cost 18 cents per kW/hr and the heat recovered cost 18 cents per kW/hr too.

The total cost is the same but now the dairy farmer is extracting more value from it.

Add to that the fact that the diesel generator could be powering an electric hot water system as well, then the diesel use will drop by half as now the heating is being provided by otherwise wasted heat.

LPG generator

Adding CHP to a dairy farm can make a massive difference to energy costs, even when using old generators.

While old diesel generators are easily available and offer a lower initial purchase cost, LPG provides a lower cost fuel. Plus, many farms have an existing LPG storage tank.

1L of LPG at 59 cents in an inverter CHP generator it will produce power at 20 cents per kW/hr or 10 cents per kW/hr for power and 10 cents per kW/hr for heat or hot water heating.

This option provides the dairy with power security and a lower cost of energy. Win-win.

If you’re looking for reliable, low cost power at for use anytime then an LPG fuelled Inoplex CHP cogenerator is the answer. Fueling this cogenerator with biogas too, as a dual fuel engine, will lower energy costs even further.

Cogen power for dairies

Looking for a practical, energy efficient biomass power generation system for your diary? Speak to our experienced team about an Inoplex cogenerator on 0448 307 282 or complete our enquiry form today.