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Compost Power Heat Wagon
Gaelan Brown is part of a team that invented the Compost Heat Wagon, a mobile heat generator that extracts 50,000 to 150,000 btu’s an hour from a variety of compostable materials. He also runs the website CompostPower.org, which might be the best source of information anywhere on capturing compost heat.

    The team, which includes Brian Jerose of Agrilab Tech and Jason McCune Sanders, has been involved with compost heat recovery and doing educational workshops for 5 years. They also consult on the construction of systems.

    Beyond that, Agrilab Technologies, LLC, has developed the Isobar® Heat Exchange System.

    “Isobar systems can capture up to 1,500 btu’s/hr. per ton of material being composted during the first four weeks of active aeration for most feed stocks, which equates to about 1 million Btu’s captured per ton of material composted. One million btus of heat energy is worth around $30 compared to electric/fuel-oil/propane energy sources, so this in essence doubles the economic value of the compost,” Brown explains.

    With four Isobar demonstration projects built on dairy farms in recent years using manure and bedding from calves and heifers, existing Isobar systems are capturing up to 195,000 btu’s/hour to preheat 50°F well water to 110 to 130°F. Besides saving $9,200 a year on fuel costs, one farm saves more than $80,000 annually on bedding costs by using the composted manure for bedding.

    The Isobar system uses aerated compost production pads with in-floor aeration channels. A fan pulls air down through the material keeping the composting microbes active and hot, then the hot compost vapor is drawn into ductwork and through the Isobar heat transfer tubes to warm tanks of water.

    The company's next step has been to mount a version of the Isobar system in an enclosed trailer to create The Compost Heat Wagon™.

    “The Compost Heat Wagon is designed for operations that have 50 to 150 tons of compost feed stock in production,” Brown says. “The Compost Heat Wagon offers the potential for $13,000 to $39,000 per year in energy savings.”

    Payback varies from 2 to 5 years, Brown says. The Compost Heat Wagon can be deployed for as little as $5,000 down with existing lease-to-own financing programs for the $55,000 system.

    The company welcomes inquiries about setting up systems.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gaelan Brown, 1662 Pumpkin Village Rd., Enosburg Falls, Vt. 05450 (ph 802 498-3218; www.compostpower.org; www.agrilabtech.com; gaelan@agrilabtech.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6