Dutch Dresser, Director, Maine Energy Systems

For many years, I held various positions at a local college preparatory school, Gould Academy. The school has always had a thoughtful innovative streak, which kept my interest for 26 years.

I have been particularly pleased as the new Buildings & Grounds Director has focused sharply on heating efficiency and has recognized the advantages of pellet heat. His most recent small “district” project shows a real understanding of the capability of today’s efficient pellet boilers.

One of the very first OkoFEN boilers to be installed in the US was a 56KW unit placed in a very large 3-story office building owned by the school. Because the unit was of greater capacity than the building demanded, it was reprogrammed as a smaller boiler.

Several weeks ago, the old Burnham boiler in the 2-story family house with attached 8-student dormitory next door began to leak. The B&G Director saw an opportunity and ran heat lines underground between the two buildings to take advantage of the remaining capacity in the OkoFEN boiler already installed.

The system was put in use just as the temperatures in town went to -10F overnight. The B&G Director reported the next morning that he had 174F water throughout the systems of both buildings and the boiler had not yet been reconfigured to its full 56KW capacity. A little creativity and an understanding of the capabilities and values of pellet heat reduced both the number of boilers he has to maintain and the amount of money he has to spend on fuel annually.

As the school prepares to replace its most oil hungry boiler with a new OkoFEN, its thoughts wander to small districts heating clusters of faculty homes and smaller structures.

Having seen large and small district heat projects in Europe, I am especially pleased to see a school so important to me leading the way, once again, in the deployment of useful, sensible technologies.