DIT Hothouse Unveils NEW Farming Technology for National Ploughing Championships
Back in May 2017, The National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena Awards, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Farmers Journal launched. Irish agriculture companies and inventors were invited to show case their products and innovations at The National Ploughing Championships, which is one of the largest outdoor events in the world with over 1,500 exhibitors and 200,000 attendees in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland from the 19-21 September 2017.
Out of approximately 200 entries, only the top 55 were chosen to display their Irish agriculture innovations on a world stage, so DIT Hothouse are delighted to announce that DIT's Thomas Woolmington has been selected as one of the lucky few to showcase The Slurry Solver, 'maximising your resource'.
About The Slurry Solver 'your resource maximiser'
This retrofit new farming technology for slatted units, gives farmers the capability to create, store and use biogas with minimal investment requirements. A floating membrane structure is inserted into existing slatted units and is semi submerged in the slurry. This converts the slurry tank into a long-term anaerobic digester. Slurry can pass from top to bottom while catching biogas as it rises up from the bottom of the tank. The floating membrane is modular in nature so that it can accommodate any tank size and is designed not to interfere with the current operations of a slurry tank.
Almost half of all work-related fatalities in 2016 related to farming, a sector that accounts for only 6pc of the Irish workforce, (Donnelly, Margaret, Independent.ie, accessed 12 December 2016 http://www.independent.ie/business/farming/machinery/no-other-sector-is-experiencing-the-level-of-fatal-accidents-that-farming-is-35286999.html). This new farming technology, called The Slurry Solver will increase health and safety around the slurry pit. The Slurry Solver reduces the likelihood of anyone falling in by two means. Firstly, the gas is stored behind a physical barrier and cannot escape to the outside environment where animals and humans are present. Therefore, gas exposure is virtually eliminated and secondly, because there is now a physical barrier in place in the form of a raft like, structure a person cannot physically fall into the slurry tank.
At this stage we would like to thank Noel Masterson (MSc.) for his time and industrial experience for evaluating the safety advancements of this product over current new farming technologies. Noel and Thomas are heavily involved with safety projects in Industry and have both served as safety representatives in DIT in the past.
The Slurry Solver will also benefit agriculture by:
Avoiding potential carbon taxes on animals by significantly reducing methane emissions (note methane is circa 25 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas)
Dramatically reducing odour from slurry
Giving farmers the ability to produce and store Biogas on the farm
The ability to produce heat and electricity when you need it
Possibility of various new revenue streams, such as Biowaste processing service, Gas Exporter, Electricity Exporter, Compost producer
No bio-security issues of moving waste to large centralised anaerobic digestion facilities
Never having to agitate slurry again
No separate digester or post treatment tank no planning requirements as a result
Producing a processed slurry that is absorbed up to 3 times quicker into the soil than slurry
Having the benefits of traditional anaerobic digestion technology but at a significantly reduced installation cost
DIT Hothouse would like to wish Thomas Woolmington the very best of luck at this year’s National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena Awards. If you are attending this year’s National Ploughing Championships, make sure you visit us in the Innovation Arena to see The Slurry Solver prototype in action.
About The National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena Awards
The 2017 National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena prize fund equates to over €80,000 in supports - up €15,000 when compared to last year’s competition. The overall award winner will receive a top prize worth €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland and The Irish Farmers Journal, which includes advertising and PR support, mentoring and a cash prize of €5,000.
About The Inventor, Thomas Woolmington, DIT
Thomas grew up in a rural setting in County Wicklow, Ireland and worked on a significant number of Dairy, Beef and Sheep Farms as a teenager. After finishing his Leaving Certificate, he chose to enter an electrical apprenticeship due to the embedded and applied nature rather than entering into a formal degree course. Thomas focuses on new industrial technology projects particularly in the Energy Management, Electrical Safety, Wind Energy and Agriculture Foods sectors. Thomas has numerous publications, patent applications and a significant amount of Invention Disclosures all attributed to his work in DIT.
About DIT Hothouse
DIT Hothouse is Ireland’s top performing Knowledge Transfer Office, working at the forefront of commercialising Dublin Institute of Technology research to Irish based companies. DIT Hothouse Alumni have raised over €195 million in Equity Investment and created more than 1,700 High Tech Jobs in 400 sustainable businesses. As well as this, DIT Hothouse have created 36 spinouts, completed 139 Licence Agreements, launched 30 new products, completed 85 patent filings and 441 qualified inventions.