Pigs power Limpopo farm

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 29 August 2010

Miss Piggy is not the only porker that can make money from hot air. Limpopo farmer Willie Humphries, 34, is using the waste from his 17000 pigs to create methane gas, which is then converted into electricity.

His family farm – Humphries Boerdery outside Bela-Bela – uses at least 30kW of electricity daily from a hi-tech generator, housed in a 6m-long shipping container, that converts the biogas into electricity.

Electricity generated from pig effluent, including pig urine, is used to run all his farming operations – including the electrical motors that process food for the 26 pig pens – as well as the heating and temperature control in the grower houses, the boreholes and for domestic use in the farmhouse.

The project has also been brought to the attention of the Department of Energy in the hope of securing finance to provide households from a nearby informal settlement with power and gas for cooking.

At least 9000 tons of pig effluent at the 520ha farm is stored in a biodigester – a 60m x 60m storage tank that is almost 5m deep. The air-tight tank is sealed with thick plastic to prevent leakage into the groundwater. Continue reading