Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Integrated Bio Energy Plant Demonstration(ST6741-1)

Twin Birch Dairy, LLC


The Twin Birch Dairy is in the watershed of two lakes used as public water supplies. Current manure management on the farm, daily spreading, has been identified as an issue that needs to be addressed. The dairy is located next to a golf course, so odor and appearance are issues. Under Phase I of this project, a plug-flow digester was constructed and operated. A microturbine-based, bio-energy, CHP system was installed and tested. Gas leakage from the digester, however, damaged the electrical components of the CHP system and the digester control system, therefore the system is not operational.

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Project Description

A combined heat and power system consisting of an animal-waste digester, a boiler and four 30kw micro-turbines has been designed and installed , to be integrated into the overall manure management system. The turbines have been grid connected. Heat from the turbines can be used in the digester and to produce hot water for use in cleaning milking equipment. Under Phase II, CHP system components will be repaired and/or replaced and then relocated to a location where they will not be damaged by digester gas exposure. The digester will be improved by installation of increased heat exchange surface for preheating, installation of a groundwater control system, and sealing and insulating the top. The entire system will be made operational.


The use of the digester will address the odor and nutrient runoff issues, while the turbines will offset the electric, thermal, and maintenance costs associated with operating the digester. The use of heating fuel on-site will be eliminated. Surplus electricity will be sold back to the utility.

Project Results

The system, as originally designed and constructed, experienced several technical difficulties, including failures of gas compressors and gas leaks that destroyed equipment. The system was redesigned and re-constructed (including moving the generation equipment into a new space). The system is now operating properly.


Twin Birch Dairy, LLC
1001 Lacy Road
Skaneateles, NY 13152

Principle Investigator

Dirk Young

Universities Involved


Project Type:

On-site Power Production

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Edward Kear


R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6741-1

Last Updated: 11/13/2013