4/15/2009

MPEC's Biomass Boilers are burning!


Our new biomass boilers are being put into operation this week. Here are some photos of MPEC Maintenance Supervisor Rick Langdon and Director Dave Van Manen firing up one of the two GARN 2000 boilers that we installed this winter. Each boiler is surrounded by 2000 gallons of water that is heated by burning wood. The heat is transferred into the Lodge's hot water heating system as well as into the domestic hot water tanks. The wood comes from thinning our very overgrown forests. Ponderosa pine forests, prior to being managed to eliminate all fires, used to burn every 10 - 15 years (usually started by lightning). These fires kept the forest much less dense than it is today; less fuel usually kept the "cool" fire on the ground (ponderosa pine trees have thick bark and can handle being scorched and still survive), resulting in an open forest with a grassy understory. A century of fire suppression has created dense overcrowded forests that are much more prone to catastrophic wildfires. By removing some of the trees, we are creating a healthier and safer forest, plus fuel for heating the Lodge (reducing our propane consumption to almost nothing). A win win for all!


















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