HALVED THE COSTS FOR THE FUEL BUT NOT ONLY
Hundreds of thousands of euro savings per year: this is the result obtained by companies that cultivate mushrooms in Northern Ireland, who have turned to Uniconfort to build plants to biomass thermal energy. A Saving that could become even larger, if the boilers could be used as fuel the litter where the mushrooms grow. Without forget, the environmental benefits, which result in the reduction of emissions per thousand tons of CO2 per year less for each boiler installed! The market for users of biomass plants is expanding, including also farmers, mushroom growers, who begin to look forward to the opportunity of savings resulting from this type of boilers. This is an interest left from Northern Ireland, where the first plant was installed by the San Martino di Lupari in 2008, but continues to grow: there are three plants built in 2010.
MUSHROOM FARMS: ENERGY-INTENSIVE COMPANIES
The mushroom farms cultivates mushrooms in cells that are maintained at certain values of temperature and humidity in order to accelerate the growth of the product. Conditions which reduce to two or three days, the life cycle of the mushrooms, which concluded the litter box where it grows is eliminated. Then is made to the sterilization of the cell with steam at 110°C to kill bacteria and start a new cycle. This is the reason why the strong thermal demand of the farm brings the cost of fuel to account for about 40% on the cost of the final product.
THE BOILER INSTALLED
The Italian company has installed ten boilers of 1 MW that are heating mushroom beds fueled by wood chips. The investment cost has been amortized by Irish entrepreneurs in just over six months.
POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS: PROCESSING WASTE AS FUEL
In these months the research and development department of Uniconfort is testing the possibility of making a boiler that works with bedding material on which the mushrooms grow. A fuel cost to the company, which, indeed, causes high cost to be disposal. In this way the company would become self-sustainable produce, the energy it consumes, and the fuel would be completely free and would be removed from the items cost.