Guess how many bags* of pellets Monadnock Waldorf School uses each day!

We first fired up the Fröling P4 pellet boiler on October 6 to begin the commissioning phase of the installation.  (Commissioning is the process of tuning up the system to make sure everything works as intended and as efficiently as possible.)  This phase is rapidly closing in a formal sense, as we’re hoping for an inspection as early as today.  However, the beauty of the arrangement we have is that the commissioning never ends.  We’re always looking for ways to improve the operation of the system as that saves us and the customer money.

Here’s some extremely encouraging, and admittedly preliminary, feedback.  I took a look at last year’s oil delivery schedule.  In the period from 10/6 – 10/26/2011, I found how many gallons of oil were burned.  In that same period, there were 340 Heating Degree Days (HDD’s are a simple measure of how cold the weather is).  For the same period this year, there were 351 HDD’s (hard to believe this year was more severe than last!).

All I’ll tell you is that during this period, we burned 27% fewer btus/HDD than the old oil system did last year.  How’s that for a fine start?!

Here’s your job:

How many 40 pound bags* of pellets did we need to burn each day over this period to keep the school warm?

This may help:

  • The school is in an old brick building, with a wing added in the early 2000’s.  No special care was taken with insulation, air sealing, high-performance windows, etc.
  • The overall floor area is about 22,000 square feet.
  • The hours of operation are approximately 7:30-5:30 M-F, with irregular usage outside those hours.

*Of course we’re not using pellets that come in bags!  It’s just an easy measure that many folks are familiar with due to their pellet stoves at home.