Want to be independent from gas, oil & utility electricity? Are you looking for self sufficient heat & power for your greenhouse, seed starting house, packing shed, barn, residence or business?
Small and Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire (www.beginnerfarmers.org) and The Farm Around the Corner (www.thefarmaround.com) have invited Heiner Cuhls from Native Power in Germany (http://native-power.de/en ) to hold a two day hands on workshop on September 21 and 22, 2013 at The Farm Around the Corner in Maidstone, Vermont. Heiner is an expert in the design and construction of the Biomeiler Compost Furnace.
A Biomeiler extracts heat from a special biomass compost heap and is therefore also known as a "Compost Furnace". Their function is based on the principal of composting. The original compost heating methods of Jean Pain from France have been further developed and engineered in Germany, and there are now over sixty facilities in Northern Europe using Biomeilers to provide all or most of their heating needs, including at a hotel in Northern Germany.
During the composting process aerobic bacteria convert organic matter (in this case wood chips) into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. This process occurs everywhere around us on the ground and in the soil. This heat can be recovered and used for space heating and heating your domestic hot water.
Compost can also be used to generate bio-gas through anaerobic digestion. A biomeiler is a very simple system using just pipes, water and the compost heat from shredded shrubs. The only moving part is a standard central heating circulation pump. This simple construction reduces maintenance cost and the risks of failure.
A biomeiler "runs" for a year to 18 months producing enough heat for a house and the water. In the warmer parts of the year there will be more heat than required and it could be stored for the winter or one might share it with neighbours to help them reduce their energy bill and CO2 footprint.
[For a more detailed article on Heiner Cuhls and the Biomeiler, see the article at the bottom of this page]
This workshop will teach you the theoretical background of compost heating and anaerobic digestion (generating bio-gas) in the first-day classroom session, and the practical building skills when we construct a working Biomeiler on the second day.
This two day workshop is scheduled for the weekend of September 21st and 22nd. Please come prepared to work on the 2nd day, as we will build a fully functioning Biomeiler.
The cost is $100 per participant ($75 for members of SBFNH), coffee and snacks included. Lunch and breakfast can be purchased extra. You can bring your tent or your camper and stay for the weekend on our farm. On Saturday evening we will have a potluck dinner.
Please make your reservation asap, because there is limited space !
If you wish to attend this workshop, please sign up using this link: Registration Link .
After you complete the sign up process, please mail your payment ( $75 for members of SBFNH, $100 for non-members) payable to Scott LeFoll, The Farm Around the Corner, 395 Route 102, Maidstone, Vermont 05905, and be sure to include your name and contact info, and how many people you are paying for, if more than one.
If you want to pay by credit card, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , and indicate how many persons you wish to pay for. (There will be a small additional fee to cover credit card processing)
For any question or concerns you might have, don't hesitate to call or email us (Scott or Heather LeFoll, 802-676-2684, email@example.com ) and please feel free to circulate this email to anyone who might be interested.
The Farm Around the Corner is located on the Connecticut River, at 395 Route 102 in Maidstone, just over the town line from Guildhall, Vermont. it is about 1/2 mile north of the large Guildhall Town Green, where the historic Essex County Courthouse is located, and is almost directly across the street from the little Maidstone Town Hall.
The white farmhouse is on the west side of Route 102, with the red barn across the street. Remember, when you pass the Guildhall green you are only about 1/2 mile from the farm - GPS systems and Mapquest incorrectly place the farm about 8 miles further north, so please be aware of that. Google Maps is correct. Look for posted signs for the Biomeiler Workshop.
Article from the June issue of the Small & Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire Newsletter:
Harvesting Heat from Compost
Heiner Cuhls wants to teach you how to heat your greenhouse, high tunnel, seedling house or packing room using wood chip compost. While he’s at it, he’ll show you how to heat water for your washing station.
Cuhls promulgates the technology of biocomposting, which uses a large, carefully constructed, wood-based anaerobic compost heap to generate and capture heat via a system of internal piping.
First introduced in France in the 1970’s, the technology has been largely ignored because “energy was still too cheap,” says Cuhls. Recent price hikes make the concept of replacing dollars with sweat equity more appealing and there are now about 50 active installations in his native Germany. The time seems right for a benign, low maintenance system which produces quality compost after a year of heat generation.
Cuhls has supervised construction of 20 bio composts in the last two years. “A bio compost can be completed within two days, with preparation work not more than four days,” he says. Careful siting is essential; the unit must be placed as close as possible to where the heat will be used in order to mitigate heat loss in transit.
Size is scalable, with 13 cubic yards of organic matter generating one kilowatt of power using slow “biological burn.” Colder winters require a larger heap to ensure the compost maintains heat.
A unit in Germany, 8 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter, comprised over 100 cubic yards of prepared wood chips. It should heat a greenhouse with little or no maintenance for over a year (the first German biocomposter operated for 12 to 18 months), after which a new pile will be constructed with existing piping. The finished compost will be used on the farm.
Materials are relatively low cost and readily available: a pool liner, PE pipes, reinforcement steel mats, mesh potato bags and small parts such as cable ties and wires. NH’s abundant forest (83% of the state) means the vital high lignin substrate is easily obtainable. The chips, combined and compressed with 30% manure, generates heat up to 140° Fahrenheit via an anaerobic process.
Small and Beginner Farmers of NH will sponsor a hands-on workshop with Cuhls in Maidstone, VT (about 2.5 hours north of Concord, NH) the weekend of September 21-22.
Details have yet to be finalized, but the $100 price will include free camping, an evening or half day of theory followed by a day of hands-on construction in which everyone will have the opportunity to perform each task and ongoing informal networking and Q&A with Cuhls.