Energy capture systems from dairy effluent

Effluent Technical Note

This note gives you a brief overview of energy capture systems (anaerobic digestion and biogas) from dairy effluent. It has been developed for farmers and for companies looking to offer this technology to dairy farmers.

Key points from this note:

  • Capturing energy is not a solution to dairy effluent, but it can offer some added value.
  • Selling electricity to the grid is unlikely to be cost effective due to the way the energy sector operates in New
  • Zealand and the small amount of energy likely to be produced from an average dairy farm. You would need
  • thousands of cows to be able to negotiate a favourable price. It is best to plan to use the electricity generated
  • to power on-farm activities.
  • Biogas collection and conversion to heat, fuel or electricity is a specialist area, so experience and expertise are
  • essential.
  • The methane in the biogas collected is flammable so all safety regulations must be met and installation on-farm
  • must follow recommended health and safety requirements.

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