The Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury, VT has been an innovator for decades. They opened the first anaerobic digester in Vermont, started the composting enterprise VT Natural Ag Products (VNAP) 25 years ago, and were awarded the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award in 2016. VNAP is the state’s largest composting facility; it processes dairy, poultry and horse manure, forest product residuals, source-separated food scraps and other biomass into a number of compost and soil products. VNAP installed compost aeration and heat recovery (CAHR) systems working with Agrilab Technologies Inc. in 2016 and 2017. These systems accelerate the composting process by optimizing oxygen levels, and also capture and utilize thermal energy – a natural co-product of the active decomposition process – for heating facilities, drying products prior to screening and bagging, and extending full composting operations through the coldest winter weather. Click here for Case Study.
Hot Skid250R at Collins Hill Farm, Enfield, CT
Administered by Connecticut RC&D’s Connecticut Farm Energy Program, this program was made possible by funds from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Energy. Read project summary, which includes energy implications, operating observations and key findings from July 2017 through July 2018 – here.
AGT installed a Drum Dragon 200 heat recovery system at the Vern Mont Farm in June 2016, connected to an “Enviro-Drum” built by DT-Environmental. The Dunklee family uses the drum to produce low pathogen bedding from the manure of their 750 dairy cows. The computer-controlled exhaust fan on Drum Dragon 200 sends hot humid compost vapor through AGT heat exchanger constantly, producing water in the 120-150F temperature range. The Drum Dragon 200 is designed to capture up to 120,000 Btu/hr, depending on the amount of heat/hot water being used. Click here for Case Study.
AGT’s Compost Heat Wagon, a mobile compost aeration and heat recovery system, was setup at an urban commercial compost facility in south Boston in July of 2015. The aerated static pile compost production pad is gravel with simple pipes in channels under the material. The entire system including the compost aeration pad was built in less than a week with no permanent infrastructure. Heat, condensate-water and C02 from compost were provided to the greenhouse keeping it abundant and productive throughout the 2015-16 winter without any additional heating fuels. Click here for Case Study.
The facility started up in 2013 in response for an improved manure management regime. Manure was previously managed as an anaerobic pile that would occasionally be spread on the fields. Although this is a common practice on many dairy farms throughout the region, it posed a significant problem for the university farm,which was trying to become a closed agroecosystem. Since the stockpiled manure was not being composted aerobically, significant odors from decomposition were present.
At the end of January 2012, a third medium size Isobar® Heat Exchange System was delivered and installed at Jasper Hill Farm, a small dairy farm and national award-winning farmstead cheese-maker in Greensboro, VT. This farm maintains 40 Ayrshire dairy cows and its new manure handling system is being used in conjunction with a small-scale anaerobic digester, for whey and liquids management. The integrated “Green Machine” incorporates a greenhouse and living filtration system for water purification. The Isobar® system is a core component of the facility heating and maintenance of suitable temperature for the anaerobic liquids management.
Sunset View Farm, New York
Sean and Sandy Quinn, owners of KA Sunset View Farm in Schaghticoke, NY implemented an integrated composting and thermal energy system in late 2010 The farm raises calves and heifers for area dairy farms. The manure and bedding from these calves and heifers are the primary inputs for the composting system. Solid bedded manure from calf hutches and pens are combined with dewatered manure solids in batches and loaded into four negatively aerated composting bays. Sunset View saved $9,200/year in propane and diesel expenses during initial operation.
Diamond Hill Custom Heifers (Vermont)
Awarded the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention in 2012, Diamond Hill Custom Heifers Farm has benefited from decreased manure handling costs, decreased heating oil expenses, and increased revenue from sales of high quality compost. This 2000 head calf and heifer farm located in northern Vermont, has presented temperatures great enough to reduce pathogens, destroy weed seeds, and create a product for sale on the farm. Diamond Hill recovered $5,000 in energy costs the first year of implementation and $10,000 a year in recent savings as fuel costs have increased. This integrated compost system provides a new approach to cost effective, solid manure management supplementing or replacing liquid manure systems on dairy and livestock farms.