Threemile Canyon Farms has one of the country’s largest diary operations, and they also run a large-scale organic farming operation of potatoes and other crops. They do all of this while being a leader in green farming and sustainable agricultural practices.
As a leader in green sustainable farming practices, they wanted a more efficient animal waste sludge digester that would improve the quality of their wastewater effluent and also be able to capture methane for energy production. The design that they used had 31,000 tires that were placed at the bottom of the digester, which allowed for bacteria growth and created the methane that they wanted.
Since the spiral heat exchanger that they were using had large-scale maintenance issues which led to plugging, fouling, scaling and inefficient heat transfer they needed a sludge heat exchanger that would have less maintenance issues and be more efficient and reduce energy costs.
They needed a sludge to sludge heat exchanger that would transfer the heat that came from the 100 gpm 85°F effluent sludge stream to the incoming fresh sludge and raise the temperature from 55° F. to 67° F. They also needed a 350,000 Btu/hr sludge heat exchanger that would be able to increase the temperature of the 100 gpm sludge stream from 67° F to 97° F while using 100 gpm of hot water at 180° F on the shell side.
In order to achieve this and reduce energy costs, we used our Klean-Wall™ heat exchanger since it maximizes heat transfer and allows through large debris of up to 50% the diameter of the pipe without any plugging fouling or scaling. The high level of turbulence at the boundary walls creates a scavenging environment with the proper conditions that continually cleans the walls of the pipe and allows for maximum heat transfer. It also allows for increased bacterial activity and the enhanced digesting that happens because of the mixing and breaking up of the sludge.
Since installing the Komax Klean-Wall™ heat exchanger, Threemile Canyon Farms hasn’t had any plugging, fouling or scaling problems and their digester was able to produce methane gas within 10 days of installation.