In agriculture, regenerative solid fuels are a way to become independent of high heating costs. The EnergyDecentral, the international trade fair for innovative energy supply, which will take place together with EuroTier from 09 to 12 February 2021 in Hanover, Germany, places a major focus on this topic and offers concepts for a complete renewal of heat generation. Whether it's firewood, wood chips or pellets: The fully automatic biomass firing installations offer farmers plenty of room for savings – however also require the latest technology.
Away from oil and gas to a sustainable energy supply – for several years now this step has become increasingly easy for agricultural businesses, regardless of whether it's the main source of income or a sideline enterprise. Wood as a local energy source pays off here. Especially farmers who have their own forest benefit from the low fuel costs of renewable resources. For example, an area of approximately 1,600 square meters can be heated with a 150 kilowatt wood chip heating system. And that means the cosy warmth is not only available for the piglets in the fattening barn, but also for the people in residential buildings.
Heating technology for wood chips and wood pellets
The investment in biomass firing installations make economic sense for an increasing number of farmers. In addition to wood chips, the modern, computer-controlled systems also process wood pellets and other fuels like straw, rape or leftover grain. Here combined boilers provide for the required operating safety. With small systems up to 80 kilowatts, it is also possible to burn wood in an emergency. Moving infeed grate systems for chips and pellets are positioned in the output range from 500 to 1,000 kilowatts. Wood chip firing installations with up to 5,000 kilowatts are located at the upper end of the scale. Wood chip and pellet heating containers with an output of up to 800 kilowatts open up new options for farmers who don't have the necessary space in their buildings. Modern biomass firing installations are equipped with a fully automatic fuel feed system, ash removal and heat exchanger cleaning. Operation of a pallet heating system is not only less labour-intensive than a wood log furnace, it is also an inexpensive, ecological alternative to heating oil for farmers without a forest.
Certified fuels provide for greater efficiency
With a diameter of approximately six millimetres and a length of approximately three centimetres, the pressed wood pellets have a heating value of approximately 4.9 kilowatt hours per kilogram. As a result, a compact fuel is produced from untreated scrap wood, such as sawdust and wood shavings, which is pressed under high pressure without chemical binding agents into a cylindrical shape that has good free-flow properties and requires only minimal space for storage. In comparison: Heating oil has a heating value that is approximately twice as high. But even the most modern boiler cannot be fired in either an energy-efficient or a low-emission manner if the fuel does not meet the requirements. The use of standardised wood pellets and chips which correspond to the quality requirements defined in the standard DIN EN ISO 17225-2 or DIN EN ISO 17225-4 and converge in the ENplus certificate is decisive for trouble-free, low-emission operation of pellet heating systems. Based on this, farmers can reliably recognise that the standardised burning characteristics are complied with and uniform gasification and a reduced need for maintenance on the system technology are ensured.
Mini-power plant for own farm
An even more inexpensive heat supply is achieved with the combination of regenerative and renewable energy systems. For example, the heat collected from flat collectors can be used in conjunction with the buffer tank required for a pellet heating system for barn heating. If the solar plant does not generate enough energy for heating, the pellet heating system is automatically connected as well. And wood-gas combined heat and power systems that simultaneously produce electricity and heat even go a step further. The main advantage here: You produce the required fuel gas yourself. Chips or pellets are burned in a wood gasifier under oxygen deprivation for this propose. The exhibitors at EnergyDecentral do justice to these advances in heat generation with their latest developments.