Heat and hot water for the Harris Center are supplied by our new-and-improved OkoFEN pellet boiler, which was installed by Froling Energy in April 2014. This system replaced our 10-year-old boiler — which was the first wood pellet boiler installed in a public building in New Hampshire — and was made possible through an extraordinary friend of the Harris Center and a New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission rebate.
The wood pellets are made locally from compressed sawdust and wood shavings, and are bought in bulk. They’re stored in an external, 18-foot-high silo. A flexible auger automatically delivers the pellets to the boiler’s fuel hopper.
The pellet boiler is easy to maintain, safe, usable year-round, and highly efficient. We burn an average of 23,000 pounds of pellets a year to heat our 10,000-ft2 building. One year of pellet burning results in approximately 125 pounds of ash that fit nicely into a 29-gallon trash can.
A 2016 life-cycle analysis commissioned by the Northern Forest Center found that using wood pellets reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than half as compared to fossil fuels.