UNH Biomass Boiler Project Begun by Froling Energy
Photo 1: Architect's rendering of the completed Northwest Biomass Heating Plant at UNH, Durham. Photo 2: Architect's aerial view of the completed Northwest Biomass Heating Plant with PDC deliverty truck at UNH, Durham.
This summer, Froling Energy is building the University of New Hampshire’s first large-scale biomass boiler system on the Durham campus. Located directly across the street from Wildcat Stadium, the new Northwest Heating Plant will provide heat and hot water to four buildings and 10 greenhouses in the Thompson School neighborhood.
This winter the new wood chip boiler and two new LP gas back-up boilers will be the sole source of heat for these buildings. A key part of the project is to run pipes underground to create a small district heating system serving Putnam Hall, Barton Hall, Cole Hall, the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the 10 MacFarlane Greenhouses.
UNH’s central Combined Heat and Power Plant had provided heat to these buildings for many years but the long pipe run out to the Thompson School area was failing. Instead of spending money on replacing the old pipes, it was decided to create a new separate district heating system fueled by one of New Hampshire’s important renewable fuels: wood chips.
UNH facilities officials calculate that the plant will consume 750 tons of semi-dry wood chips (PDCs) which is the equivalent of over 70,000 gallons of #2 fuel oil (or over 91,000 therms of natural gas). PDCs are screened wood chips with 25% to 30% moisture content, made from sustainably harvested trees sourced from forests in southwest New Hampshire and central Massachusetts.
The biomass boiler is a 2.45 million BTU/hour output Viessmann Vitoflex 300-UF which employs gasification technology, oxygen sensor based combustion controls and a multi-cyclone in the stack to make this one of the most efficient, reliable and cleanest burning wood chip-fired boiler systems available.
A 45 ton capacity vertical PDC storage silo is being built into the boiler house. PDCs are delivered a bit like oil: from a truck that pumps it through a hose and into a tank. But with PDCs a blower truck blows them through a 5” diameter hose into the silo. The simplicity of this delivery method significantly reduced the project’s cost. 45 tons of PDCs have the heat value of about 4300 gallons of fuel oil but they are locally sourced and near carbon neutral. Locally sourced means fuel dollars stay here which is good for the New England economy.
At this moment in mid-August, the boiler building is up and all of the pipe runs are in place. Next, the boilers and all their related piping and hardware will be installed. The plant is expected to be operational in October with final completion in December. Froling Energy is acting as the General Contractor on this project and they have also just received the contract for supplying PDCs for the coming winter.
Froling Energy is a mechanical contractor focused on the installation of commercial biomass boiler systems in schools, manufacturing plants and municipal buildings throughout New England. They also produce and deliver PDCs, an innovative screened semi-dry wood chip fuel that they make at their plant in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
For more information on Froling Energy go to FrolingEnergy.com Contact: Jim Van Valkenburgh, VP Sales & Marketing 603-924-1001 x2