Mike Weaver grows broiler chickens in two poultry houses that are retrofitted with energy efficiency improvements. His farm includes a pond, 80 acres of pastures, and upland wildlife habitat conservation. The farm produces approximately 300 tons of excess litter every year that is stored in the covered litter shed and sold off of the farm.
Use thermal manure-based energy to heat two poultry houses and greatly reduce or completely eliminate the use of propane.
A Wayne Combustion Litter Furnace (PLF-500) was installed and began operating in the spring of 2014. Mike uses the PLF-500 to provide heat to the two poultry houses and for preheating houses before birds are placed.
Comprehensive performance data -- including heat delivery, financial feasibility, and environmental performance -- are being collected over the 2014/15 heating season. Results from the performance evaluation will be posted to this website when they are available.
Ash generated by the unit is being evaluated as a replacement for phosphorus fertilizer in field trials conducted by Virginia Tech Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
This case study was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the USDA, U.S. EPA, and Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. The views and conclusions contained in materials related to the Farm Manure-to-Energy Initiative are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of NFWF, the USDA, U.S. EPA, or Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement by project funders.