The use of biomass as a renewable fuel source has enabled the U.S. to reduce fossil fuel dependence and provides affordable heat for many middle-and low-income households. However, residential wood heaters such as wood stoves or wood-burning appliances can negatively impact air quality and contribute to environmental pollution. A new report from the Wood Heater Design Challenge Workshops is now available online and provides a summary of activities and outcomes from the event.

To support the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) goal of developing and advancing novel residential wood heating technologies, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and the Alliance for Green Heat (AGH) hosted the Fifth Annual Wood Heater Design Challenge (WHDC).  The WHDC consisted of three virtual workshops held in January, March, and April of 2022, and a Technology SLAM to inspire entrepreneurs and academics to innovate, develop, and demonstrate the next generation of residential wood heaters. The workshops convened stakeholders from more than 100 U.S. and international wood heater manufacturers, non-profits, government agencies, and academia, as well as researchers and policy makers.

A key takeaway from the workshops was that continued collaborative efforts among stakeholders are necessary to ensure that in our changing energy landscape, wood heating technology continues as a renewable energy option for local communities. The report summarizes main priorities and outcomes of the three workshop themes:

  • Advances in wood heater design and technology
  • Advances in instrumentation used for wood heater testing and field data collection
  • Adoption of new wood heater technology and integration with other renewables

Learn more about the BETO-funded Wood Heater Design Challenge Workshop and download the workshop summary report.