Thursday, September 12, 2013

Meet the Contestants; Firemaster

With the first Wood Stove Decathlon only a few months away, we are doing a weekly blog post to showcase the Decathlon competitors. Take this opportunity to learn more about the teams and their stove’s innovative features.

Jason Stewart is bringing a stove to the Decathlon with a new feature that he thinks can help clean up thousands of older stoves. The IntensiFire is a down draft insert that can be retrofitted to nearly any wood stove. The down draft redirects unburned gases back into the hot coal bed, to reignite and save heat. This also makes more efficient use of the fuel. And, a more complete combustion of the smoke also helps to reduce emissions by burning smoke particulates that otherwise would have been released into the atmosphere.

The insert is much cheaper to manufacture and to install compared to the price of a complete wood stove. Its versatility to be retrofitted to multiple styles of wood stoves makes the Intensifire a viable option in many situations.

Stewart found himself in such a situation with an old wood stove that supposedly was to heat his rental home. The old clunker smoked badly, with wasted heat rising up the flue. The landlord wouldn’t replace it and Stewart was not allowed to make any major modifications. With some tinkering, Stewart simply extended the flue into the firebox to create a down draft. It worked so well, Stewart was able to increase up to 60% of the old stove’s heat efficiency. The success of his invention surprised perhaps even himself, and Stewart decided to pause his pursuit of an Architecture Degree and start the IntensiFire business.

Several models later, Stewart is gearing up for the Decathlon and expanding his market to the United States. This further extends Stewart’s commitment to protecting the environment. In 2009, he sailed around New Zealand as a volunteer on Earthrace, a boat run on biodiesel, to highlight important environmental issues. The next year, he once again boarded Earthrace, renamed Ady Gil, to oppose Japanese whaling.

The biggest issue opposing Stewart now is the financial costs to attend the Decathlon. Stewart must ship himself and his IntensiFire from New Zealand to Washington DC.  If you are able to help Stewart reach his goals, he can be contacted here.

We are looking forward to seeing IntensiFire in action at the Wood Stove Decathlon November 16-19, 2013. Vote for your favorite stove at Popular Mechanics.

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