Compost heating test going well!

Our compost heating vessel, still being tested at the manufacturing site at AgriLab in Enosburg Falls, Vermont, is performing well, with core temperatures running above 169°F.  Even outside of the main box, where the heat would be entering the building, temperatures are ranging in the high 70s and lower 80s.

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System heat readout diagram from the compost heating vessel.

This is an entirely new, first of its kind, compost heating system being developed by AgriLab for heating our Office space at The Old Stone Mill here in Adams, MA. The heat extracted from this system will feed a radiant floor in the office, and possibly some additional space as well.

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We hope to see it installed for the start of the heating season this fall. Sensors placed throughout the system make it possible to track its performance. We’ll be getting a special blend of compost from TAM Waste Management, just up the road in Bennington, VT and when we’ve extracted the heat from it, it will be brought back there to exchange for fresh material.

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After initially entertaining thoughts of building a “Pain Mound” where heat exchange tubing is coiled inside a compost mound, Rose, our Clean Energy coordinator got a tip about AgriLab from a fellow fossil-fuel-fighting colleague. After talking, we found that Jason at AgriLab had been hoping to develop this application for a long time. They usually help farms compost material more quickly by extracting heat that can then be used on the farm. This is a kind of reverse goal, bringing heat from compost to a building where there’s no material just, for the sake of heating the building.

We’re proud to be hosts to this newly developed technology and hope to see it become commonplace where applicable!

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