Hurst Boiler is part of an award-winning installation at the University of Iowa’s Oakdale Research Park campus in Coralville, Iowa. As an integral part of UI’ s Green Energy Initiative, which seeks to have 40 percent of its energy needs met with renewable resources by the end of 2020, the Hurst biomass boiler replaced the campus’s natural gas boiler. Because the project was a retrofit, Hurst had to custom design the biomass boiler solution to fit into an existing structure.
Bruce Coffee, Hurst Boiler’s chief engineer, stated in a recent article in HPAC Engineering magazine, that “the UI project required some creative solutions, including modification to work around space constraints and fixed barriers. Components such as boiler legs, breeching (ductwork), piping, and fly-ash collector chute, were like puzzle pieces that needed to be modified and placed to fit.”
The Hurst Boiler biomass boiler solution is able to combust hundreds of different fuels, allowing the University of Iowa campus to burn local fuels, such as wood chips and oat hulls, while keeping fossil fuels in place for backup. The system is controlled with the Hurst BIOMASS-TER, an intuitive dashboard-driven control and monitoring system for boiler and peripheral equipment.
The project was completed in 2011 under the leadership of the architectural and engineering firm Shive-Hattery, working with Global Energy Solutions Inc. (representing Hurst Boiler) and Ferman Milster, associate director of utilities and Energy management, University of Iowa. Shive-Hattery was recognized for this project by the American Council of Engineering Companies as the 2013 winner of the Grand Place Award in the Energy Production category. The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards are designed to recognize outstanding projects that exhibit innovation, technical advancement to the engineering profession, complexity, social and economic considerations, and the ability to meet or exceed the needs