VGrid Energy Systems (VGrid) has launched a new system capable of converting biomass into clean renewable electricity and a form of 'ultra-pure, highly-porous carbon'.
The BioEnergy Server 100 is designed to deliver 100 kW of electricity and can utilise any form of biomass; however, the company has focused on agricultural waste, such as almond shells, tree prunings, pistachio shells, grapevine prunings and manure.
VGrid's business model is to sell 'electricity as a service' at a discounted rate to what customers are currently paying for their electricity. According to the company, there is no upfront cost to the customer, and the company owns, operates and maintains the systems.
"The advantage of bioenergy is that there is an abundant cheap source of fuel that can provide electricity on demand," said Dr Greg Campbell, CEO of VGrid. "This is important for utilities who struggle to manage intermittent sources from solar and wind."
VGrid has worked with veterinarians to certify the carbon produced as a cattle feed alternative with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and several other states. The company said it has "demonstrated the ability to bind toxins and cure or prevent SCOURS disease", with early trials showing an improvement in feed efficiency and a "significant reduction" in methane emissions from livestock.
The carbon produced can also be used to filter air and water, or for odour elimination and soil amendment. VGrid said that in a cannabis indoor growing trial with a leading cannabis producer, it demonstrated a 100% increase in yield.