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A Conversion of Air Force Base Boilers from Coal to Natural Gas

David Bohn

Based in Redding, CT, David Bohn guides Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation as president and offers a range of solutions that enable industrial facilities to meet core energy performance and emissions goals. One of the high profile projects that David Bohn and his Redding, CT, team completed centered on fulfilling US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates to reduce emissions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Ohio.

Needing to provide 14.5 million square feet of occupied space with hot water and steam, the base had traditionally utilized separate natural gas and coal-fired boilers as part of centralized steam and high-temperature-hot-water (HTHW) systems. Limits set under new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) policies encompassed particulate, mercury, and hydrochloric acid emissions and made continued operation of the coal boilers untenable.
This set in place deadline-sensitive efforts to convert two coal-fired boilers to natural gas-fired package boilers, with the other coal-fired boilers slated for demolition. The demolition was possible because of a combination of WPAFB heating system decentralization and energy conservation steps already taken. The successful Preferred Utilities project required extensive redesign, modification, and retrofitting efforts, as well as the installation of new windbox/burner assemblies.

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