Froling Energy installs biomass boiler at corrections facility

By Froling Energy | September 26, 2017

Froling Energy of Peterborough, New Hampshire, recently completed the installation of a biomass boiler system at the Merrimack County Department of Corrections facility in Boscawen, in partnership with Johnson Controls Inc.

Two jail facilities sit close to each other on the Merrimack County Complex site. One jail has been continuously active while the other was vacant for a number of years, in need of updating. The overall project included major renovations to the older jail as well as a boiler house and enclosed walkways that would connect the two facilities.

The biomass boiler system installed at the jail has a number of innovative features that significantly reduced costs and made the project financially viable, including the high efficiency boiler, the fact that it burns a new biomass fuel and that it is the first site in the U.S. to employ a new rake-style chip management and storage system.

The Viessmann Vitoflex 300-UF boiler is one of the most efficient, clean burning biomass boilers in the world. The model KPT-1250 which was deployed here has a maximum heat output of 4.268 million BTUs per hour. The Viessmann Vitoflex 300 boilers have proved themselves to be among the most reliable biomass boilers available in the world.

Screened semi-dry wood chips are the new fuel that has a number of advantages. Having just 25 percent moisture content, they burn cleaner in the Viessmann boiler than green chips. Using just a multi-cyclone on the exhaust, the boiler meets all New Hampshire regulations for particulate emissions. Wetter fuel usually requires the installation of an expensive ESP—electrostatic precipitator.

The new storage system is the Javo Toploader, an innovative overhead rake-styled chip management system that allows the chips to be dropped off by live floor trucks. The new storage area’s maximum capacity is 60 tons of screened semidry wood chips (25 percent moisture content). Again, this storage system design which is backed into by chip delivery trucks is much less expensive to construct and outfit with material handling systems.

The new boiler system is expected to offset the burning of over 92,000 gallons of fuel oil each year using locally sourced semi-dry wood chips. In doing that system will also generate over 2000 NH Class 1 Thermal Renewable Energy Certificates which can be sold on the NEPOOL exchange. The facility’s net cost for heating fuel will end up being similar to paying less than 80 cents per gallon of #2 fuel oil.

The years of commercial biomass boiler expertise that Froling Energy brought to this project was critical to this successful biomass boiler system installation—one of the largest in the company’s history. Froling Energy provided engineering, procurement and construction services to Johnson Controls Inc., which included General, Civil, and

Building Construction services for the boiler house, the connecting hallways and the entire biomass system with heat distribution pipes to the two jail facilities.

This biomass boiler project received a $200,000 RFP Grant from the Renewable Energy Fund of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. Overall funding for the project was provided through a revenue neutral Energy Performance Contract managed by Johnson Controls.