Creating Green Energy Requires Accurate Weighing Solution

Creating Green Energy Requires Accurate Weighing Solution

A 50-tonne, Avery Weigh-Tronix weighbridge/truck scale is helping Malaby Biogas generate 500kW per hour of green electricity to feed the National Grid and supply renewable energy to nine business units on its UK-based anaerobic digestion facility.

The 15m, 50 tonne Bridgemont pit mounted truck scale is being used on site to measure more than 20,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a treatment process for organic, biodegradable material such as waste food. The process utilises naturally occurring micro-organisms already present in the waste to break it down in the absence of oxygen, producing a fertiliser slurry known as ‘digestate’ and a methane rich ‘biogas’ used for the generation of renewable energy.

Accurate weight data a fundamental part of the process

Thomas Minter, Director at Malaby Biogas commented, “The Avery Weigh-Tronix weighbridge will be fundamental in monitoring quantities of waste coming in to the site and weighing digestate as it goes off site, so reliability and performance are key factors to our organisation.

“The anaerobic digestion site’s processes use a formula that requires a combination of specific raw materials to be mixed in controlled quantities. Therefore, accurately weighing the bulk waste that goes into the plant is very important to ensure consistency and to provide the required electrical output.”

Specialist foundations for challenging environment

Commenting on the project Terry Waghorn, regional sales manager at Avery Weigh-Tronix said, “We met with Malaby Biogas to understand its needs and it soon became apparent that without an accurate and reliable weighbridge system, the process would be unsuccessful.

We decided that the best solution was to install a 50 tonne weighbridge with a control system to measure and capture each vehicle weighing. The site is also located on hilly land, requiring specialist civil engineering expertise to build the foundations of the weighbridge in accordance with the surrounding environment.”

Renewable energy from 20,000 tonnes of waste

The site, Bore Hill Farm, is a redevelopment of a redundant smallholding in south Warminster. It consists of a farmhouse, disused outbuildings and 12 acres of land. Phase one of the development will provide an integrated biogas plant and phase two will redevelop the disused farm buildings into a group of zero carbon business units.

Using UK designed anaerobic digestion (AD) technology and a combined heat and power (CHP) system, the plant will process waste diverted from landfills to provide renewable energy to the farmstead redevelopment as well as exporting the excess power to the local electricity network. The plant will generate enough renewable electricity for the equivalent of approximately 1,000 houses.