LRH Biomass Heating System Project Complete & Running
January 10, 2014
Littleton, NH - Littleton Regional Healthcare Trustees and staff are pleased to announce that the new biomass heating system installed this year is operational. This new energy efficient heating system will replace at least 240,000 gallons of heating oil. The biomass heating system uses hardwood bole chips to provide energy at one quarter of the cost of oil, half the cost of natural gas and half the cost of wood pellets. LRH is believed to be the second hospital in Northern New Hampshire to convert to a biomass heating and among other businesses and municipalities who have recently converted including the State of New Hampshire Grafton County Jail that includes a nursing home as well as other departments. National Life Insurance Company out of Montpelier, VT recently converted as well.
The Messersmith Automated Wood Chip Heating Systems boiler installation began in June and is now operational. This six month project costs 2.8 million which resulted in major hospital infrastructure improvements.
LRH administration did not overlook any details in the planning and implementation of conversion to a biomass system. The new system will warm the hospital's air and provide hot water. Two biomass boilers will replace three existing oil burners, leaving two burners as a back-up to the new system.
The project included a large chip storage bin that can hold two semi-trailer loads of chips which would be enough for about one week during the peak heating season and approximately one half to one load per week during the remainder of the year.
The biomass operations will generate non-toxic ash. The benefits of using the waste ash include being the best source of organic potassium for farms, it raises soil pH, making nutrients in the soil more available to plants, it is USDA compliant and listed by (Organic Material Review Institute) OMRI for use by organic growers.
It is also important to note that 90 to 99 percent of all particulates will be removed before exhaust exits the stack which provides an opportunity to improve the local air quality. People passing by LRH will see what appears to be smoke coming from the stack, but it is actually water vapor/steam. The use of high tech emission control was part of LRH's overall plan to install the biomass plant, and was based on their desire to protect the environment and provide a cleaner than oil based system.
It is also of interest to mention that LRH has recently surpassed its 11th year of their recycling program with a total weight of recycled items at 1,010,086 pounds. Through a collaborative effort between LRH administration, staff and volunteers, items recycled include paper, cardboard, all metals, bottles, plastics, batteries, fluorescents, cooking grease, ink cartridges, clinical devices, and computer parts. The cost savings to LRH includes solid waste tipping fees at $178,727; surgical devices recovery at $126,869; metal salvage at $6,485 totaling more than $312,081. What is really remarkable is that through this project LRH has saved 40 acres in our land fill.
Henri Wante, Director of Engineering and Facilities at LRH stated, "We are very pleased with this project. In our current economy LRH feels the need to seek opportunities to save costs in as many areas as possible, and this is just one example, with an estimated cost savings of $400,000 annually. We are confident that this project will fully pay for itself in just a few years."