This blog originally had a poster and text about the details of the PM analyzers that we will use at the Decathlon. However, because some of the findings were preliminary and not finalized, we have taken down the poster and text, except for the abstract, below. We will repost the poster and content when it is more finalized. - Editors
As the price of heating oil has increased in the US, more residents are returning to wood heat. Most existing wood stoves date from before the EPA implemented emissions certification requirements for these devices. Even those wood stoves that meet EPA’s Phase II requirements often have unacceptably high emissions once in use. This is due to several factors including fuel quality, operator habits and design. While the EPA is developing new regulations, the test method used for certification is not representative of in-use performance and the performance criteria in the test fall short of high efficiency or low emissions.
Designs that improve combustion and emission performance, thermal efficiency, and operational variability are needed in the U.S. heating market. The Alliance for Green Heat and Popular Mechanics Magazine has initiated the Wood Stove Design Challenge (WSDC) to address these needs by developing a competition for manufacturers, innovators, and university teams working towards these objectives.
This project seeks to develop a WSDC energy efficiency and emissions testing protocol which reduces the variability in fuel and operator. The current test method (EPA Method 28 WHH) involves testing stoves using a dilution tunnel. Seeing that the WSDC is held at the mall in Washington DC, this test method does not suit. Recently, new particulate measurement systems have been introduced in Europe, both the Wöhler SM 500 and testo 380. Both analyzers are a low cost option and offer the advantage of ease and portability. To determine the accuracy, precision, instrument range, and applicability for use in the WSDC for thermal efficiency and emissions, these portable direct measure analyzers, an evaluation will be conducted while simultaneously using the standard methods for determining the emissions.
There is, also, interest in the potential use of instruments of this type for field evaluation of the performance of both stoves and boilers.
The technology of these systems include near real-time, sub-microgram sensitivity, and is the only filter-based mass monitoring technology which has these properties and does not depend on questionable, surrogate measurements for mass