EnergyDecentral, the international trade fair for decentralized energy supply, has established itself as the most prominent platform for the introduction of innovations. This innovation leadership is underlined by the EnergyDecentral Innovation Award, which is handed to the winners at the show every two years.
An independent panel of experts appointed by DLG (German Agricultural Society) assessed 22 entries that were submitted to the innovations competition and by applying the strictest criteria they selected the winners of the EnergyDecentral Innovation Award. Six innovations are conferred the EnergyDecentral Innovation Award 2018 in gold or silver.
TFZ - Technologie und Förderzentrum Straubing, Germany
For an optimum ensiling process and low respiration losses during silo removal, the biomass must be stored well-compressed and air-sealed. Especially for air sealing, a structure of air-tight wrapping foil, silo tarpaulin, protective nets and fixation with weights must be produced within a narrow time frame after filling the silo at a high technical and personnel expense. As particularly for biogas plants, the silo heaps have especially large dimensions, in addition to the workload, occupational safety is also a relevant topic when covering the silo. The Technologie und Förderzentrum im Kompetenzzentrum für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe Straubing (TFZ - Technology and Support Center in the Expertise Center for Renewable Raw Materials in Straubing) has now developed an innovative silo cover that can considerably reduce the workload and provide a major improvement in occupational safety. The process is based on a self-hardening material made of renewable resources that is mixed locally from two components and sprayed onto the silo. It then cures to form an air-tight protective layer that achieves values similar to a silo foil with regard to gas permeability and tensile strength. When choosing the components of the spray-on silo cover, attention was paid to the nutritional harmlessness, enabling it to be introduced into the biogas plant as a substrate with the silage. The spray-on silo cover based on renewable resources from TFZ Straubing represents a completely new process that can solve major problems when sealing off a bunker silo air-tight.
revis bioenergy GmbH Münster, Germany
If substrates with high nitrogen loads, such as poultry manure, are used in biogas plants, this can lead to efficiency losses, as ammonia inhibits the fermentation processes and can even bring them to a halt. In order not to stress the entire biology in the fermentation tank by overloading it with nitrogen, either the share of poultry manure used in the substrate mix must be limited or fermentation excipients must be added. However, with a high percentage of nitrogen in the biomass used, the digestate also contains a large quantities of nitrogen. Agricultural land can only be fertilised inexpensively in the region close to the biogas plant. The maximum quantity to be spread is quickly reached due to the high nutrient contents. However, an alternative digestate transport or digestate processing is very expensive. With Poultry Profit from revis bioenergy of Münster, it is possible for the first time to already remove a large share of the nitrogen content in the biogas plant before its use in the biomass and to generate an ammonium sulphate solution, i.e. a known, permissible fertiliser, from it. In addition to the specific fertilisation effect, it is also very worthy of transport. As a result, it is now possible for the first time to also metabolise ammonium-rich substances and use them energetically on a large scale following corresponding processing, and no longer just as admixtures in biogas plants. In addition, valuable fertilisation components are also obtained.
If errors occur, causing substrate to escape when operating a barrel pull-off unit, i.e. an outlet, for example in the fermentation tank of a biogas plant or of a manure storage tank, then this can lead to water-polluting substances being released – up to the entire tank being drained. Even if the substrate loss would just barely be financially tolerable, there is a risk of major damage to surface water if the organic material reaches it. This temporary "imbalance" will – apart from the unpleasant odour – be perceived as very negative in the public eye. Furthermore, the introduction of fermentation substrates in surface water can also result in substantial fines being incurred. Novatech from Wolpertshausen has now developed its manure and fermentation residue removal system further such that accidental opening is virtually impossible. This is implemented technically by using the principle of multiple blocking familiar from other sectors for this application for the first time. To intentionally open the barrel pull-off unit, the user must therefore carry out several different actuating steps consecutively. The system is securely screwed on to the tank wall by means of a positive connection. To remove manure or fermentation residues, a safety slider on the tank and an operating slider must be opened. If the driver forgets to disconnect the hose, and the hose connection is then torn off, a statically tested tear-off guard with a reverse tensioning protection device for the locking slider helps prevent larger substrate quantities from escaping. This represents a practical further development of an existing product with regard to active environmental and water protection.
If biogas expensively generated from biomass is converted to electricity, then for economic and ecological reasons this must take place with the highest possible efficiency. Each new and further development which can also sustainably increase the efficiency in practice strengthens the competitiveness of those generating electricity from biogas and further increases the environmental friendliness of this technology. With the EVE3 Efficiency Upgrade Package, ECI-Distribution GmbH from Schwaz (Austria) now offers a four-valve cylinder head for gas engines. With its optimised inlet and exhaust duct geometry and a centrally positioned pre-chamber spark plug, it is possible on the one hand to achieve improvements for nitrogen oxide emissions. Another advantage is an increased efficiency and/or a reduction in gas consumption. The cylinder head can also be retrofitted on existing gas engines as part of maintenance or servicing. The increased efficiency of a combined heat and power system by retrofitting four-valve cylinder heads from ECI-Distribution GmbH represents a practical further development and has a direct, positive effect on both the efficiency and the emissions of as biogas plant.
An increasing number of farming operations are considering purchasing their own separation technology. At the same time, the requirements for this kind of device are becoming increasingly complex. Agricultural entrepreneurs are looking for versatile "all-purpose devices" that can constantly tackle large throughput volumes and can be used for the separation of pig and cattle manure with a broad range of dry matter contents and for processing fermentation residues. Here the dry matter content in the separated solid phase should be adjustable to between 18 and 38 % depending on the intended use. Furthermore, the agricultural companies would like to be able to control the nutrient content with adjustments on the separator. To meet all these requirements, Börger has expanded its Bioselect separator with an additional adjustment option. In addition to the flexible loading of the Bioselect by the feed pump, the adjustable speed of the rotating screw by the control technology and the spring pre-tension of the multi disc, in future the length of the compression zone, and with it of the solid material plug can be adjusted. The feed screw can be continuously axially shifted, adjusting the plug length depending on the requirements. As a result, the operator of the Bioselect can now perfectly adjust the separator on site to the medium to be separated and the desired dry matter content.
The most important advantages at a glance:
- Higher throughput volume
- Reduced energy consumption
- Longer service life of the separator due to reduced wear
Foreign bodies and impurities in the source material of pumping media such as fermentation substrate have always been a problem, as they put a particular load on and can even damage the technology for shredding the material often located downstream. The Wangen X-UNIT, a modular system comprising a foreign body separator (X-TRACT) and a shredder (X-CUT), offers several innovative new features at once for tackling the impurities, and therefore for increasing both the operation and the work quality. An easily accessible foreign body removal unit and the axially adjustable shredding unit enable uncomplicated, fast revision and maintenance of the system. In addition, the rake can be easily changed, which also allows it to be adjusted to the material used. With the safe removal of foreign bodies and impurities that can damage the system and the optimum adjustment of the shredding unit to the medium, the Wangen X-UNIT provides for increased process reliability and lower maintenance costs in the downstream biogas plant technology.