We have continued our commitment to renewable energy in heating our packaging facility. One of the annoyances of ranch life is the dead trees that float down the creek. We must constantly remove them from our fences and hay fields. We have turned this chore and normally wasted wood into both a heat source and a land restoration tool.
We must gather the wood as a part of ranch life, therefore gathering the wood arguably costs nothing. It does take time to cut the wood to size, a real cost.
We built and installed an extremely efficient cross draft stove, which is estimated to be near 90% efficient without a catalytic converter. This is possible by forcing all flute gases to pass through red hot embers before leaving the fire box, therein burning nearly all of the fuel which normally leaves as smoke. In addition to burning nearly all the fuel the design is so efficient at removing heat that the stack temperature leaving the building is well below 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
We then collect the ash so it can be used as fertilizer during land restoration. This eliminates the need for artificial fertilizer, which requires alot of energy and resource to produce. The result is the rapid return of vegetation or introduction of vegetation to areas that did not grow before, which increases cattle feed and reduces erosion.
With a little ingenuity we have turned what was a burden into a heat source and a land restoration tool.