Woodlands Dairy in South Africa installs second biomass boiler

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  • André Adendorff, Sustainability Manager at Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp, is proud to announce the installation of the Dairy’s second biomass boiler.
  • The first biomass boiler was commissioned in 2016.

Rick Nel, the Engineering Manager at Woodlands Dairy explains the technicalities of the process. “The wood chips are offloaded onto biomass fuel bins, which store roughly 150 tons of wood chips. A conveyor belt transports the wood chips to a Ram feeder and from there they enter the biomass furnace. There, hot flue gasses are created and feed through a fire tube into the boiler. Once the hot gasses have passed through the boiler, the gas passes through grid collectors and are exhausted via a tower stack. The steam generated in this process is used to sterilize and pasteurize milk.”

These boilers use woodchips, which are a waste product generated at sawmills during the harvesting and milling process to produce timber. Woodlands Dairy received three truckloads (i.e. 87 tons) of wood chips from the Longmore forest sawmill per day. Image credit: Woodlands Diary

André Adendorff confirms that, “The main objective behind the decision to install the first biomass boiler was the reduction of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and electricity needed to generate steam for the plant. The Humansdorp facility of Woodlands Dairy reduced its electric-boiler consumption by 40% by changing over to a biomass boiler, and has reduced the consumption of HFO by 83% in the year following the commissioning the first biomass boiler.

The second biomass boiler at Woodlands Diary. Image credit: Woodlands Diary

The energy impact of the second biomass boiler is estimated to be 10.7% more biomass utilised than in 2022. This is due to a milk intake increase of 3%, but there will be an estimated 31.0% reduction in HFO in 2023. The nett environmental impact of these two energy sources are expected to reduce GHG emissions at Woodlands Dairy by a 1046 t/CO2e per annum or 3% of the current footprint.”

Image credit: Woodlands Diary

Several renewable energy resource projects have been implemented at the Woodlands Dairy mega facility in Humansdorp. The objective of these being, replacement of fossil fuels, reduced energy consumption and reduction of carbon emissions. The first step in a multi-phase solar initiative was completed in 2021. The first stage of the solar project consisted of 1922 JA Solar PV modules and 10 SolarEdge Inverters and optimiser combinations, capable of generating 828KW AC. The installed solar capacity is anticipated to provide 1.5GWH of power annually, reducing their carbon emissions by 588 tons or planting an equivalent of 17 558 trees annually.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal



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