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Case study 24 June, 2024 Bioenergy Agriculture Stand alone

CAGE Technologies – Powering communities with plug-and-play small-scale bio-generation system

Who, What & Where

  • CAGE Technologies, Sistema Biobolsa, EP Barrus and Sutton Power
  • 30m3 biogas digesters and 5x6kW biogas generators
  • The project is located in Kenya and was completed in March 2022


ARE Member CAGE Technologies has developed a suite of gas engine control and combustion technologies. CAGE engines are optimised for use in generators that run on net zero and clean gas fuels to generate clean power. CAGE Technologies operates in the sub 50kW sector. CAGE biogas generators are small scale advanced plug-and-play machines that run on raw biogas and are calibrated to efficiently adapt to changes in fuel quality or methane content.

In this project, CAGE has collaborated with:

  • Sistema Biobolsa: a prefabricated modular biodigester package that includes a full suite of biogas appliances and connections. Easy to install and use, their patented high-efficiency biodigesters take organic waste and transform into renewable biogas and a powerful organic fertiliser.
  • EP Barrus: a company that operates across four diverse market sectors, Marine, Garden, Industrial and Vehicle, and is one of the UK’s leading importers and distributors of engines, engine-powered equipment, garden tools and accessories.
  • Sutton Power: a company which is a respected market leader in the design, manufacture and supply of diesel and LPG generators. Sutton manufactures, supplies & services generators from 2 to 2200 kVA with worldwide distribution and support.

The Challenge

Currently, a majority of small farms in Eastern Africa and other regions rely on diesel generators to get reliable electrical power. They generate high carbon emissions and harmful exhaust emissions, and high fuel cost is a burden on operation costs. Although solar power systems are becoming popular, solar energy is intermittent and a backup generator is always required. There is also an issue with fugitive emissions coming from animal or crop wastes. Finally, crop yields are not optimised in the absence of fertiliser, which is a byproduct resulting from the of the generation of biogas inside the biodigester.

Renewable Solution

The focus of the project was to harness the attributes of the combined technologies to deliver the most robust, reliable and efficient small-scale bio-generation system in existence, at a cost that is economically attractive to the customers. The project focused on the many positive benefits that clean low cost energy can bring to the communities it serves such as health, communication, education, economic development and quality of life.

Project Financing and Costs

The project was funded by Innovate UK at a cost of £689,604.

Project Outcome

It delivered a robust, efficient and plug-and-play small-scale bio-generation system in existence, at a cost that is economically attractive to the customers in Africa.

Five systems of digester and biogas generator have been operating continuously since their installation during the project, totalising more than 3,400 hours and around 3.5MWh of electrical power generated from waste.

Next steps

CAGE Technologies, Sutton Power Engineering and Sistema Biobolsa are working together to provide a containerised off-grid solution adapted for Africa farmers.

This solution integrates a new version of the CAGE biogas generator with a bigger engine producing a higher power output. This new engine is water cooled providing an additional CHP thermal power output. The solution uses a commercially available controller which manages this microgrid environment that deploys multiple renewable energy sources, namely biogas, solar, and wind, with the support of a battery pack.

This project will be completed in July 2025.