Cape Town-based heating solutions firm Calore Sustainable Energy (CSE) has developed a new biomass combustion technology that it claims delivers significant savings for industrial clients requiring heating solutions.
Calore co-founder Davide Marchesini says that producing heat to generate hot air, hot water or steam, is a core aspect of many industries and contributes substantially to bottom-line costs.
However, he explains that while cost-effectiveness and security of fuel supply will always be important factors when choosing a heating fuel, regulatory reform and an increasingly environmentally conscious consumer are forcing industries to consider factors of sustainability as well.
Specifically designed to replace toxic, coal-burning heating systems with sustainable, burn-fuel systems, Calore manufactures its fuel in the form of wood chips, wood pellets and other forms of biomass, such as olive pips or nut shells.
CSE is a partner of Earth & Wire – a private clean energy brand. CSE also has an incorporated joint venture with privately-owned biomass harvesting company Africa Biomass Company (ABC).
ABC produces fuel-specification wood chips, which are supplied to CSE clients through long-term fuel supply contracts. A large proportion of this biomass is harvested from invasive alien trees along the Breede, Zonderend and Berg rivers.
In terms of energy savings, CSE claims that a recent trial at a major chicken hatchery in Worcester, in the Western Cape, resulted in the client benefitting from a 49% fuel cost saving when its legacy coal-fired heaters were replaced with biomass-fired heaters.
Depending on location and order quantities, the cost per unit of energy from wood chips is lower than that of coal, paraffin, diesel, liquid petroleum gas and electricity, claims CSE.
Marchesini adds that the client will benefit from a significantly lower fuel cost and spend 49% less on labour and operational costs owing to automation, will pay 98% less carbon tax, and 100% less in ash removal fees, as removal of ash is included in Calore’s biomass delivery price.
Through an established network of land owners, CSE has access to sustainable biomass resources across South Africa and can match these resources with nearby industrial clients.
Based on historical data trends, CSE states, biomass will remain the most cost-effective fuel for the foreseeable future, with the combined economic and environmental benefits of the fuel poised to phase out traditional fossil fuels in the poultry industry over the next decade.