Friday, November 2, 2018

Competition on National Mall to Showcase Innovative Wood Stove, Renewable Energy Technology

November 2, 2018

Contacts: John Ackerly, Alliance for Green Heat, 301-204-9562; Kerry Darragh, The Hatcher Group,

Design Challenge inspires cleaner, more affordable wood stoves 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Wood Stove Design Challenge, an international competition to showcase innovative and clean-burning wood stoves, will begin on Friday, November 9 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The goal is to demonstrate how improved designs including sensors and computer controls can make wood stoves cleaner and more efficient. One portion of the competition will focus on how electricity can be produced from wood and pellet stoves and be paired with rooftop solar and other renewable technologies. The event is free and open to the public through Tuesday afternoon, November 13.
Competition among 10 teams to demonstrate how modern residential wood stoves can be far cleaner, more efficient and renewable sources of heat and electricity

Friday, November 9 – Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The National Mall, 1160 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, D.C. (Near the Smithsonian metro stop)

The Alliance for Green Heat
Officials from the Bioenergy Technology Office, U.S. Department of Energy
Officials from the U.S.D.A Forest Service
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Testing by Brookhaven National Lab and Masonry Heater Association.

Visitors will be able to see how stoves are tested and interact with the teams, and many of the country’s top wood stove experts. Guided tours are offered daily and there will be an education area with exhibits and literature for homeowners and experts alike. One pellet boiler will be charging a Tesla and another stove has a mini electrostatic precipitator.

More than 10 million American households use wood stoves to heat their homes but they are a significant source of ambient particulate matter (PM) emissions. The technology boom of the past few decades has largely missed the wood stove industry yet innovation still holds great promise. Moreover, all stoves in America were tested for EPA certification with 2x4s for fuel. 
The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and Brookhaven National Lab, with support from NYSERDA, have been researching new methods for the next generation of assessment protocols for wood heating appliances.  Research has focused on in-home use to operational practices, user fueling patterns, and new real-time measurement method techniques.  The results of this work will be showcased on the mall during demonstration  on a wood stove providing real-time results.    
Automated stoves that are designed and tested with this new robust cordwood test method can help improve woodstove designs and in-use performance leading to higher efficiency and lower emissions.
“The Wood Stove Design Challenge is re-imagining America’s most common residential renewable energy device, to be part of our renewable energy future,” said John Ackerly, president of the Alliance for Green Heat and founder of the Design Challenge. “Most homes in the colder half of the US could nearly be all renewable by using pellet or automated wood stoves or boilers along with solar panels, helping to vastly reduce fossil heating fuel.”
Creators of the competition say that just as the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon helped lay a foundation for the solar industry, the Stove Design Challenge is laying the foundation for a cleaner, more modern stove industry.  For this event, the DOE provided essential baseline funding to each of the competing teams.
The competing stoves will feature WIFI connectivity, sensors and micro-processors that eliminate the need to manually adjust air flow and help ensure a much cleaner and efficient combustion. Other competing wood stoves and boilers will generate enough electricity to power everything from a cell phone to part of a home or electric vehicle. One European pellet boiler at the Design Challenge will be charging a Tesla.
Teams from companies and universities will compete in two contests – one to find the best automated stove and the other recognizing the best electricity producing stove. The teams will be scored based on criteria such as particulate matter emissions, automation and innovation, electricity production, safety, delivered heat efficiency and consumer appeal. A full list of the competing teams can be found here
Other teams will showcase wood stoves that incorporate thermoelectric technology capable of converting heat into electricity. One goal is to integrate these thermoelectric wood stoves with solar residential systems to increase power output by 50 percent in northern climates like New England, where solar production is limited during winter months.  
Partners for the Design Challenge include the U.S. Department of Energy, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the U.S. Forest Service, the Osprey Foundation and Olympia Chimney. The automated stoves will be tested by teams from the Brookhaven National Lab. The Masonry Heater Association and Myren Labs will test the thermo-electric stoves.  A complete list of partners and sponsors can be found here.
The Alliance for Green Heat promotes modern wood and pellet heating systems as a low-carbon, sustainable and affordable energy solution. The Alliance works to advance cleaner and more efficient residential heating technology, particularly for low and middle-income families. Founded in Maryland in 2009, the Alliance is an independent non-profit organization and is tax-exempt under section 501c3 of the tax code.
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