Sustainable Agriculture Fueled by TEDOM’s Renewable Biogas CHP Units in Suchohrdly, Czechia
Monday, 29 January 2024
An intriguing agricultural project was developed in 2007 by Renergie s.r.o. at Suchohrdly, close to Miroslav in the Czech Republic. It successfully integrated crop and animal production with cogeneration technology and a biogas plant. This project has steadily grown to incorporate other energy sources over time. Currently, the local agricultural company founded by Ing. Karel Kuthan is comprised of a total of 7 TEDOM CHP units, which supply the farm buildings, greenhouse and biogas plant with cheap electricity and on-site heat. The resulting complex of downstream technologies, processes and buildings is largely independent of electric power supplied by the public grid. In fact, if necessary, the plant can also operate in “island mode.” The project showcases multiple generations of TEDOM CHP units of the Cento model range, as they installed gradually.
Over the years, we added a total of 7 machines in Suchohrdly:
2007: 2x Cento 160, biogas fuelled, 2x 160 kWe
2008: 1x Cento 180, biogas fuelled, 175 kWe
2013: 1x Cento 180, biogas fuelled, 180 kWe
2018: 1x Cento 200, natural gas fuelled, 200 kWe
1x Cento 400, natural gas fuelled, 400 kWe
2022: 1x Cento 530, biogas fuelled, 528 kWe
For the course of their operation, we guarantee all of these CHP units complete service assistance.
Ing. Karel Kuthan’s recognition of the possible synergistic benefits of combining agricultural and animal production with the biogas plant’s energy generation was what ultimately led him to decide to establish a biogas plant. He realized that generating electricity at a fixed cost would offer a steady stream of revenue. Furthermore, the biogas plant’s processing of liquid manure would not only get rid of the waste but also transform its energy into digestate, a useful fertilizer. The heat produced by the biogas plant would keep the greenhouse’s conditions steady and the animals comfortable in their stables, making it a well-rounded and sustainable investment.
The project is unique in that it combines the biogas plant ‘s energy production and consumption in one location, along with the associated closed material flows. The liquid slurry used as the biogas plant’s input substrate comes from pig farming. It is further enhanced by waste from sugar mill cuttings and purpose-grown biomass. The digestate from the biogas plant is then used by the operator on his property all year long. Compared to not having the biogas plant, the digestate replaces industrial fertilizers for crop production by 90%. One ton of liquid slurry can produce about 30 m3 of biogas; however, the energy contained in the pig liquid slurry is lost if it is just thrown onto the field. It is possible to produce about 60 kWh of electricity from this biogas.
The energy supply flows smoothly given that the natural gas CHP units are installed. This array of multiple units makes it feasible to perform routine maintenance and service on each of the biogas CHP units separately without sacrificing the necessary power. Natural gas can be used as a backup for the entire system if needed.
Together with the farm buildings, the biogas plant is part of a larger unit that includes a large greenhouse constructed in 2010 with a production area exceeding 10,000 square meters.
Cogeneration provides this greenhouse with both electricity and heat. In this case, the heat produced from cogeneration replaces approximately 250,000 m3 of natural gas that would otherwise be required annually to heat the greenhouse. Any surplus electric power produced is eventually supplied back to the grid by the operator.