Scottish chickens “manure-vre” their way past power cuts

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Chickens on a farm in Scotland are generating their own power, and heating their own coops, thanks to a biomass boiler, and their own manure.

The more than 128,000 hens at the Glenhead of Aldouran farm in Stanraer are creating enough manure to provide sustainable heating and power, as well as a reliable source of fertilizer for the farm itself.

The chicken farm is a commercial egg production facility, is regularly affected by power-cuts, and farm owner James Baxter decided to take action.

Using an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system, powered by 3M’s Novec Engineered Fluids.

The system burns chicken manure in a biomass boiler, and feed a 90KW electrical system, providing hot water at 150°C, providing 750Wh of heat.

The Novec-developed fluid then absorbs heat from the manure, and is then converted into vapour which in turn drives a turbine.

Baxter explains: “This biomass project is a win-win-win. The chicken manure is processed and the boiler ash can be reused as fertiliser because of its remaining nutrients.

“The electricity is used on site to save on utility costs and the chicken sheds are heated with the condensing heat of the ORC, therefore we don’t need a separate wood chip boiler to heat the sheds.”