Spruce Haven Farm Anaerobic Digester Is Operational and Producing Energy
Larsen Engineers applied for and obtained NYSERDA funding for an anaerobic digester project at Spruce Haven Farm in Union Springs, Cayuga County NY. Spruce Haven Farm is a large dairy farm (a CAFO operation with 3000+ dairy cows) and agriculture research center. Larsen Engineers designed, procured and oversaw construction of an anaerobic ditch digester system at the project site. This project was innovative because it used an existing lagoon as the digester vessel. The ditch (lagoon) digester produces biogas from manure waste that is then fed to a 502 kW cogeneration unit, which produces electricity and heat for on-site and off-site use. Remote net-metering allows Spruce Haven Farm to credit part of the excess power produced to other Spruce Haven Farm electric meters, eliminating grid costs. Meanwhile, the remainder of the excess power is fed to the grid where it provides power to local energy users. The main components of the project included: an existing lagoon modified into a covered anaerobic digester, a biogas collection and cleaning system, a heat exchanger, a cogen unit (engine and generator), and influent and effluent storage tanks. The contract for this project was awarded by NYSERDA on May 27, 2013. Project construction ensued in March 2014. The digester became operational in October 2014. The following gives an example of the power levels generated by the digester over four months, in April 2015 − 306kW, May 2015 − 342kW, June 2015 − 396kW, and July 2015 − 321kW.
A comment from Doug Young, Managing Member of Spruce Haven Farm, to the NYSERDA Project Manager regarding the digester stated, “We are very pleased with the digester. It appears to not only be 55% lower cost than alternatives but at least as efficient. The control system is comparable to those I saw in Europe. The hydrogen sulfide scrubber is also performing well. There is no detectable biogas odor around the digester which was a key design request”.
To discuss the feasibility of an aerobic digester at your farm or facility please contact Newton Green, P.E. of Larsen Engineers at 585-272-7310 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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