Ponaganset Schools BioMass
One of the most interesting and innovative aspects of designing and constructing the Ponagansett High School and Ponagansett Middle School, was the design of a Biomass Facility, the first one of its kind in the State. The biomass unit, which supplements the main heating system, is essentially a super high efficiency boiler that burns wood chips for fuel using a cutting edge gasification process. The hot water produced by the biomass unit is then pumped through the heating and hot water systems of the building. When the biomass unit is functioning, the main boiler, fueled by oil, gas or electricity, is able to remain dormant, thereby creating significant energy savings which translates to substantial financial savings for the Owner. Energy costs for heating and hot water using the Biomass system will be approximately ¼ the cost of using oil. Other ways the schools utilized energy conservation techniques included use of high efficiency HVAC, controls and day lighting. Photovoltaics were also used for the students to study energy conservation.