May 13, 2010
The Wild Center Teams With NYSERDA To Commission Innovative Heating System Powered by Renewable Fuels
High-efficiency Wood-Pellet Boiler and Solar-Thermal Hybrid Heating System Installation Will Yield
Low-Emissions with Local, Renewable Fuel
Tupper Lake, May 13 –The Wild Center today commissioned an innovative hybrid heating system supported by $350,000 of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) funding that will use a pioneering combination of renewable energy solutions to heat and provide hot-water heat year round to the Tupper Lake facility.
The Center’s new wood-pellet boiler was manufactured by ACT Bioenergy of Schenectady and represents the first highly efficient, commercial-sized, gasification wood-pellet boiler of its kind and size manufactured in New York State. It will be supplemented by a solar-thermal hot-water system developed by E2G Solar, West Sand Lake, using a solar hot water tube collection system that is the first of its kind used in a commercial application in the Adirondack region. Together they largely replace the propane boiler system formerly installed at the Wild Center.
Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA President and CEO, said, “We commend the Wild Center for its commitment to incorporating renewable energy into its operations. Their use of pioneering made-in-New York technology will help promote high-efficiency, renewable-fuel boilers that reduce harmful emissions, burn local fuel, and further New York’s efforts to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, while helping to build New York’s clean energy economy.”
“This pioneering renewable heating and hot water system dovetails perfectly with The Wild Center’s mission and goals,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, executive director of The Wild Center. “The opportunity to have such an installation at The Wild Center, where we can demonstrate and explain the technology to visitors, was something we could not pass up. We could not have achieved such a significant project with the support and commitment of NYSERDA.”
Clarkson University, Potsdam, is conducting a rigorous scientific evaluation of the energy-efficiency and emissions performance of the boiler as well as the integrated solar-thermal heating system and will report its findings to NYSERDA. It is anticipated that this evaluation will provide objective scientific information to be used by decision makers developing renewable energy strategies. It will also serve as a model for other commercial facilities looking to evaluate ways to heat with renewable fuels in an efficient manner.
The teaming of the solar thermal and wood boiler systems is unique in New York. The system includes a flat-plate and solar-tube thermal system, which heats 320 gallons of water as it flows through narrow tube surfaces exposed to direct sunlight, as well as a high-efficiency, clean-burning wood-pellet commercial-size boiler that will heat another 600 gallons of water. Combined, these systems will optimize water heating throughout the year for kitchen hot water and space heating needs of the 54,000-square-foot building.
The system was designed to stimulate local economic development and reduce dependence on foreign sources by replacing imported fossil fuels with locally available renewable fuels played. In the Adirondacks, the most abundant and inexpensive renewable fuel is wood. However, traditional wood burning stoves, outdoor wood boilers and some common commercial wood boilers suffer from low efficiency and high levels of pollution from incomplete combustion. This project offers a very clean-burning, highly efficient alternative use of wood fuel.
The Wild Center is the first museum in New York to receive a LEED certification, with a Silver distinction, from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED standard is considered to be the international benchmark for green building. In selecting The Wild Center as the site for this project, backers pointed to the Center’s position as a leader in sustainable operational practices.
Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA
518-862-1090 ext. 3544
Last Updated: 05/14/2013