On UK Farms there is more than enough manure to meet heat demand. The below chart compares the heat demand for minimum ventilation (red) to the heat required to optimise conditions for bird welfare (green). Even when meeting this increased demand for heat there is manure left over.
A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) will generate electricity throughout the flock to ensure all the manure created of a farm may be used to meet energy needs (green line). Approximately half the electricity demand on the site can be met using this system, and 90% of the sites heat demand.
Enhanced Bird Welfare
Birds are in constant contact with the litter they walk on. The quality of litter has a well documented impact on bird welfare, by impacting skin disorders such as Pododermatitis and Hock Burn.
Podo and Hock Burn scores from before and after bhsl installations on 2 farms have been measured. Average reductions of Pododermatitis by 50% and Hock Burn by 25% have been routinely recorded.
This has occurred because the litter has been kept drier – typically the final moisture content has been reduced from 40% to 30%.
Not surprisingly, these improved living conditions have resulted in economic benefits to bhsl customers.
All sites installed with bhsl manure to energy systems have recorded significant bird performance benefits. The improved environment for the birds creates less stress and disease challenges to their health. Birds have lower a lower Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) and meet their target weights more quickly.
Flock uniformity is also improved and bhsl are working with independent third parties to measure and report on this benefit.
Modern broiler genetics have created enormous potential for efficient production compared to 30 years ago. The bhsl system of optimal ventilation provides the best platform for growers to achieve this potential.
Using a renewable fuel in place of fossil fuels will attract government incentives in some locations. In the UK the bhsl system qualifies for Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI heating) and RHI Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plus Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for electricity generation.
Projects may also be funded by green investment banks. bhsl can help source funding for projects – contact us for more information.
Certainty over Production
Having a known cost of energy removes the danger of fuel price swings resulting in unprofitable contracts. A farm can ‘capitalise’ their future energy costs and plan future cash flows with more certainty.
Using a fuel that is created on the farm also protects the owner from future fuel cost inflation.
Some locations may have difficulty disposing of manure at certain times of year, or if local fields are saturated or exceeded safe levels of nutrients. Rather than transporting manure long distances, or costly storage, it is loaded into the bio-secure storage area and used for energy.
Having a sustainable and environmentally friendly use for manure may make it easier to obtain planning permission to extend farms in some locations.
Lastly, the financial result of these numerous benefits (energy savings, feed savings, green incentives and so on) improve the bottom line for farms, helping secure their future viability in increasingly competitive times.
For more information on the environmental benefits see here.