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Domestic biodigester installed at community gardens

October 8th, 2012

A domestic-sized biodigester was installed at the Motueka Community Gardens yesterday, with a good crowd on hand to see how such a unit could save them on power bills as conventional energy costs rise.

Biodigesters work by using simple containers, pipes and taps to capture the methane that is a byproduct of what is essentially compost. Although some are large-scale devices, there are now domestic units available, and small units can be easily constructed by a handyperson.

Bill Rucks, of Water Alchemy Ltd, an internationally known expert in this technology, presented the workshop. Once enough methane has been trapped, the biodigester will be used at the gardens to run barbecues during summer working bees and for some other general heating applications.

The unit has been placed on a constructed raised and paved section of the gardens behind the present allotments, where gardeners and volunteers often seek shade to rest during summer working bees.

Community gardens chairwoman Tara Forde is promoting the technology as one part of the answer to the growing cost and scarcity of non-renewable energy sources. Here are some photos taken at the installation and workshop.

Bill Rucks explains the device's workings

The crowd examines the workings

The paved platform for summer BBQs ...

... under the shady wattle tree


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