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Study on the Temperature Variation inside the Biodigester of Modified 2 m3 GGC 2047 Biogas Plant

Study on the Temperature Variation inside the Biodigester of Modified 2 m3 GGC 2047 Biogas Plant

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This is the research paper presented in the Third International Conference on Addressing Climate Change for Sustainable Development through Up-scaling Renewable Energy Technologies in Nepal on 12-14 October, 2011.
This is the research paper presented in the Third International Conference on Addressing Climate Change for Sustainable Development through Up-scaling Renewable Energy Technologies in Nepal on 12-14 October, 2011.

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Published by: Er Shankar Singh Dhami on Nov 02, 2011
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03/26/2013

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Study on the Temperature Variation inside the Biodigester of Modified 2 m
3
 GGC 2047 Biogas Plant
Shankar Singh Dhami
*
, Sarbottam Pant
**
, Bhaskar Raja Maharjan
**
and Susan Shrestha
**
 
*
 Author: Student of MSREE 066 at IOE, Pulchowk Campus, NepalPhone No: +977 9841614483, E 
**
Co authors: Former IOE students
 
Abstract
As the gas yield from a biogas plant is proportional to the temperature of slurry inside biodigester, a constanthigher temperature needs to be maintained inside the biodigester. This study was carried out to find thetemperature distribution inside the biodigester of a kitchen waste and toilet attached GGC 2047 modifiedbiogas plant. The research was carried out in a 2 m
3
biogas plant at Banepa, Nepal during a period of twomonths (November-December, 2009). From the study, no significant variation of temperature inside thebiodigester was observed. The heat generation due to the anaerobic digestion inside the biogas plant isnegligible and the biodigester was always in thermal equilibrium with the surrounding earth. Thus,insulation of biodigester wall is worthless, unless any external source of heat is coupled with it.
Keywords
:
Kenneth Labs Formula, steady state, thermal mass, GGC 2047 Model
Nomenclature:
= Mean ground temperature or average solar temperature t the soil surface,
o
C
 
= Annual temperature at soil surface (maximum air temperature - minimum air temperature),
o
C;T = time period (day or year or months);t = time of the year in days (current time in day); secX = Depth below the surface;
m
 
= phase constant, day of the year of the minimum surface temperature;
= thermal diffusivity of soil, in m
2
 /day
Introduction
Biodigester is the most essential part of the biogasplant where anaerobic digestion of biodegradablematerials takes place and biogas is produced.Fluctuations of temperature inside biodigesterretard microbial activities and the biogasproduction decreases. Thus, a constanttemperature needs to be maintained inside thebiodigester for efficient biogas production.Variation of temperature inside the biodigestertakes place due to conduction of heat to and fromthe surrounding earth. Similarly heat is generateddue to anaerobic digestion inside the biodigester.This, heat flow creates a combined effect of temperature fluctuation inside the biodigester.
Periodic variation of surrounding earthtemperature with depth
Ground temperature is governed by a number of factors. The most important of which are: (1)
Geometric, including latitude (L), altitude (β) and
prevailing weather conditions; (2) Sitecharacteristics, including surface conditions andsurface temperature, landscaping, microclimate,and water table; and (3) thermal physicalproperties of the soil. The diurnal fluctuationsappear largely at the soil surface and rapidly fadeout with depth. Below 15
 – 
51 cm depending onsoil type, thermal diffusivity (
α), and m
oisturecontent - the soil temperature does not reflectdaily changes at the surface.
(M.Sc. Thesis, Pawan Basnyat).
 
Temperature changes with depth are determinedby the amount of radiant energy that reaches thesoil surface and by the thermal properties of thesoil. The energy absorbed by the soil surface isdisposed of in one or more of the following ways:(a) radiation to the atmosphere, (b) heating of theair above the soil by convection, (c) increasing thetemperature of the surface soil, or (d) conductionto the deeper soil layers.
Kenneth Labs formula
 The temperature of the ground is a function of thetime of year and the depth below the surface. ByKenneth Labs formula, the temperature variationwith the depth is given as
()
()

,*
()

+-
……. (8)
 (Moustafa et al, 1980).
The “steady state” ground temperature may be
assumed to occur below 1.8
 – 
3 m beneath groundsurface. The ground water temperature at a depthof 9.1
 – 
18.3 m has generally been accepted as
equivalent to stable “steady state” ground
temperature which has in turn demonstrated to beroughly equivalent to annual average airtemperature.
(M.Sc. Thesis, Pawan Basnyat)
If we consider a time period of 365 days, theabove formula would appear as below:
()
()

,*
()

+-
………
 
……
(9)
(Moustafa et al, 1980)
Materials and Methods
Ten different thermometers (nine digital and onemercury) were used for measuring the temperatureat different positions inside the biogas plant asshown in
 
figure 1 below. The thermometers werecalibrated for precision of ±1
0
C. Position of different thermometers with reference to O in A-Aplane is shown in the table below.
Figure1: Positions of thermometers
Among the ten thermometers, three thermometerswere installed on the dome surface and next threethermometers were placed radially at a distance of 25 cm from the first three thermometers. Twothermometers coupled with metallic pole insertedinside slurry, are used for measuring thetemperature of slurry. Another thermometer wasused to measure the temperature of biogasproduced inside the dome surface. The lastthermometer (mercury) was used for measuringtemperature of outlet slurry.Table1: Position of thermometers relative to PointO.Point Horizontal fromtop(cm)Verticaldistance (cm)
A
85 88
B
61 68
C
33 55
A’
 
102 70
B’
 
74 47
C’
 
41 31
T
g
 
0 90
T
1
 
16 195
T
2
 
97 144Then, Kenneth Labs Formula was used tocalculate the temperature at different position of the dome surface. The measured temperatureswere then compared with the calculatedtemperature for reliability of study. The variousparameters used for Kenneth Labs Formula are:
=20.53
o
C,
 
=5.68
o
C; T =365 day;t =338
 – 
343 day;
 
 
=1;
=0.0397 m
2
 /day or 1.193 m
2
 /month or 0.001656m
2
 /hour.The annual temperature variation of the groundsurface at different height is shown below in thegraph.
Figure2: Annual temperature profile at various depths with time period of one year.
Results and Discussion
The
graph 3 and 4
shows the temperaturereadings of ten thermometers installed at differentpositions of biogas plant taken at different time of day.
Figure3: Temperature variations on 8/21Figure4: Temperature variations on 8/21
The average maximum atmospheric temperaturewas 18
o
C while the average minimumatmospheric temperature was 9.28
o
C. However,the temperature shown by other thermometerswere more or less constant and were within thetemperature range of 14
o
C to 16.9
o
C except forT
OS
in which some variation is seen. This is due tothe fact that, outlet hole of the digester is open tothe atmosphere and the temperature variation inatmosphere causes the temperature of slurry tovary along with it. This fact showed that thetemperature inside the digester remains in thermalequilibrium with its surrounding earth.
Similarly, same result was observed from figure 5 and6 showing the average temperature readings of different thermometers taken for 13 days at differenttime periods.
101214161820222426280100200300400
   T   e   m   p   e   r   a   t   u   e    (
   0
   C    )
days
Tc'(0.0354m)Ta(0.5803m)T(1m)T(1.5 m)T(2 m)T (2.5 m)
810121416182004812162024
   T   e   m   p   e   r   a   t   u   r   e    (
   o
   C
    ) 
Hours of dayTgasT1T2TatmTos
10121416182004812162024
   T   e   m   p   e   r   a   t   u   r   e    (
   o
   C    )
Hours of dayTcTc'TbTb'

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