Murphy Fresh Hydroponics (MF), 190km north-east of Melbourne, is one of Victoria’s largest hydroponic tomato growers producing in excess of 3 million kilograms of tomatoes per year in glasshouses. MF commissioned an approximately $600 000 6MW thermal generator system. Every year they buy $450 000 of waste hardwood logs from local sawmills, a saving of 50% from their previous burning of coal briquettes. They had previously considered installing an LPG system and while the capital cost of installing a biomass system was about eight times more expensive than LPG, they save $1.65 million a year on fuel costs by using biomass over LPG. The payback period was approximately two years.
Jon Murphy, Manager at Murphy Fresh, took the bold step of replacing the brown coal burning system to a new biomass boiler running on waste hardwood logs (aka industry seconds) that are chipped on-site with a moisture content of 40%. The chipped wood allows the Murphy’s operations to be more environmentally sustainable.
The following article and link provide more details about the technology and the farm:
- Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses – Biomass Energy…the New Coal, Issue 138, December 2013
- Murphy Fresh
Phone: 0400 661 543