Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Automated Wood Stoves Line Up to Prove their Value

Seven companies with automated wood stoves have been selected to be part of a collaborative workshop at Brookhaven National Lab this November. The goal of the workshop is to explore how automation can be both affordable and effective.

See photos, diagrams and short descriptions of each of the 7 stoves here.

Stove emissions are the result of three equally important factors: the stove, the operator and the fuel.  EPA testing and the NSPS focuses mainly on the stove, but excessive emissions also result from poor operation and unseasoned fuel. Automated stoves can tackle all three of these factors, resulting in emission improvements beyond what the EPA can currently assess.

The seven automated stoves are made by ClearStak, Kleiss Engineering, MF Fire, Flamekeeper, Wittus, Hwam and Aprovecho Research Lab. Some need an electric outlet, some make electricity, some use oxygen sensors and all are unique and innovative.

“This workshop is designed to enable participants to study affordable automation techniques and see which work best,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat. “If the EPA settles on a number at 2.5 grams or less in the NSPS, these technologies may also offer affordable and reliable solutions,” Ackerly added.

The Organizing Committee includes John Ackerly-AGH, Ellen Burkhard-NYSERDA, Tom Butcher-BNL, Prof. Phil Hopke - Clarkson University, Craig Issod-founder of Hearth.com, Mark Knaebe-Forest Service, Ben Myren-Myren Consulting, Rob Rizzo- Mass. Dept. of Energy, Norbert Senf - Masonry Heater Association, Dean Still-Aprovecho, Rod Tinnemore-WA Dept. of Ecology and Rebecca Trojanowski-BNL.

Because of space limitations, only about 50 people will be accepted to participate in the workshop.   Participants will be selected based on experience, not on a first come, first serve basis. The workshop is from November 4 – 7th and held at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton New York, about an hour and a half east of New City on Long Island.

The Workshop is the second chapter of the Wood Stove Design Challenge that kicked off last year on the National Mall with the Wood Stove Decathlon.  An updated version of one of the stoves, the MF Fire designed by University of Maryland graduate students, competed in the 2013 Wood Stove Decathlon.  Wittus and Hwam also competed in the Decathlon and are bring updated versions of their stove. ClearStak consulted with a number of teams at the Decathlon.

As of December 2016, a number of automated stoves have entered the market place, including one that competed in this challenge.

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