At GE Reports, we come across eye-popping numbers every day in the lab, in the field, and on the books — and we use our “By the Numbers” series to give them their due. Today, we’re appropriately knee-deep in numbers: 2,500, 15,000 and 300,000. What’s the connection? It’s the number of cows, pigs or chickens, respectively, that can create enough biogas to power 900 homes in the European Union using just one of GE’s Jenbacher engines.
This month marks the third anniversary of the installation of one of GE’s Jenbacher biogas systems at Norswiss Farms in Rice Lake in Wisconsin. The 1,100-cow dairy farm is operating a combined heat and power system that uses digester biogas created from a mixture of cow manure and other waste. The electricity generated is delivered into the grid and can power about 600 U.S. homes, while the heat is delivered through heat exchangers and used to support the manure digestion process. The separated, digested solids are used as animal bedding — a replacement for sawdust, woodchips or sand.
By producing biogas from animal manure as substitute for fossil fuels, any additional greenhouse gas emissions are avoided. Additionally, farmers also benefit from another of the biogas generation’s end-products: a high-quality, agricultural fertilizer that neutralizes acid levels with a higher Ph-value and is nearly odorless. Using this kind of fertilizer instead of the original manure has a positive effect on local water bodies.
* Learn more about GE Energy
* Learn more about GE’s Jenbacher engines
* Learn details about the biogas production process
* Read “GE by the numbers: 12,000″
* Read “GE by the numbers: 170,000,000,000″