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Woodlands Dairy Biomass Boiler

TF Design | Thermodynamics Fluids & Design | Green Energy

Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp, partnered with TF Design Engineering and MTO Cape to develop and install a biomass fuelled boiler in the South African dairy industry – a R30-million capital investment.

Large volumes of steam are used in dairy processing to pasteurise and sterilise milk and manufacture dairy products. Following research and monitoring of its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas production, from cow to consumer, Woodlands dairy confirmed that an unacceptable high percentage of the total site’s electricity usage and costs was due to the steam generated by its electrode boiler and heavy fuel oil boilers.

MTO wanted to find a sustainable use for the biomass generated by its forestry and sawmilling operations and found their solution at the dairy. They built on their long standing relationship with the Stellenbosch based TFD and worked with Gideon Venter and his team of engineers to develop the biomass steam production solution for Woodlands Dairy.

TF Design Engineering evaluated all existing equipment and services at Woodlands and developed solutions for a number of challenges, including:

  • Reducing capital costs by using existing infrastructure. The existing civil bases around the building were reused and new civil bases cast for additional equipment. The floor of the building changed to accommodate the new boiler layout and the existing building had to be extended to accommodate the boiler and biomass combustion furnace.
  • Optimising the biomass combustion furnace to efficiently combust the available green biomass with its high moisture content.
  • The shell and tube steam boiler had to be designed to satisfy Woodlands Dairy’s need for high pressure steam at 25 bar gauge.
  • The feasibility of the project was based on a short delivery time to gain the financial advantage of biomass combustion as soon as possible. The project was delivered turnkey within 11 months from date of order.
  • Supplying a steam control system that delivers a base steam demand while coping with intermittent production steam demand peaks. The newly installed biomass combustion system supplies the base steam demand requirement, while the HFO boiler installations satisfy the steam demand peaks.
  • Effectively storing and handling the biomass. TFD project managed the installation of a turnkey biomass handling system.

The company delivered a robust and reliable biomass steam producing system that ensures an income stream for the biomass supplier and a huge reduction in energy costs for Woodlands Dairy. “This installation will serve as a pilot project to unlock the value of biomass in industries not directly related to timber sawmills.”

“TF Design Engineering is known in the sawmilling industry for our quality kilns, boiler installations, log scanning systems and steam conveyance expertise. We provide turnkey solutions to our clients based on their specific needs and are proud of our excellent after sales service throughout our 24 year history. The high percentage of repeat business from our loyal clients is a testament to our high quality South African support”.