Students taking classes outside on the Clarkson campus

Mathematical Model

A mathematical model that integrates mass, energy, revenue and cost flows throughout the digester-energy recovery system is under development. Data quantifying gas quantity and composition, heat and energy production, and economic return will be compared with model predictions for calibration and verification.  The verified model can be used to determine economically optimum operating conditions as a function of feedstock composition, loading rates, temperature, electricity costs, net metering legislation and heating costs to maximize revenue from the system. A software package will allow the economic tradeoffs and potential incentives to be examined. The model will be invaluable to the regulatory community to identify incentive structures needed to promote this technology, for the designer to evaluate design and operational parameters and for the farmer to optimize his/her system to adjust for seasonal variations in temperature, changes in manure composition or other farm management practices.