The U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo in Nashville, Tennessee, up to $2 million in Phase 1 funding for six projects to accelerate wood heater innovation and develop the next generation of efficient and clean wood heaters. Funded by BETO and administered by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the Wood Heater Innovation Collaboration will oversee the FY23 Wood Heater Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) and leverage their unique expertise to work with award recipients to develop and validate their innovative wood heater technologies. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, millions of U.S. households use wood heater technology for home heat and it remains a vital way to affordably heat homes with a low-carbon renewable fuel. To ensure that wood heating continues as a renewable energy option, this CRADA funding will help the wood heater industry accelerate the modernization of wood heating stoves to be cleaner, more efficient and have the potential to reduce the national costs associated with thermal energy. 

The following projects were selected:

Selectee

Location

(City, State, Zip Code)

Project Title/DescriptionFederal Cost Share
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association 

Arlington, Virginia

(22201-2573)

Project: Evaluation of the performance of particulate matter sensor technologies to cost effectively quantify emissions from wood heaters in the lab and in-situ.  

 

For approximately 40 years, residential-scale wood heater certification methods in North America measure particulate matter (PM) emissions using an EPA dilution tunnel and gravimetric sampling approach. While this system has proven to be reasonably repeatable, it only provides time-averaged results for the entire operating sequence and is not amenable for estimating varied sequences or high emission events. Real-time PM monitors have been proposed as a potential solution to this challenge; however, only one PM monitor has been advanced for this purpose. This collaborative project between Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory aims to launch the process for identifying and evaluating suitable PM monitoring technologies for measuring wood heater emissions in the lab and in homes (in-situ). 

$300,000
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association 

Arlington, Virginia

(22201-2573)

Project: Development of a wood stove draft prediction tool to guide manufacturers and installers on wood heater or chimney parameters.

 

In wood heater design and emission testing, draft has always been the major confounder that no one in the wood heater community knows how to address. As a result, heaters are all designed for a single-story venting system in a 70°F lab. Designing heaters for these laboratory conditions may ensure successful certification testing, but draft and emissions from the heaters are different when operating in homes. Through this project, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will work collaboratively to develop the draft prediction tool that can guide manufacturers and installers with adjusting heater or chimney parameters that address less-than-optimal draft conditions and help ensure optimal wood heater emissions performance.

$300,000
ISB Marketing Inc. in conjunction with Stove Builder International

South Bend, Indiana

(46628-4346)

Project: Thermal storage solution for wood stove providing constant heat output in an ideal thermal range.

 

Woodstove Latent Heat Transfer Design is a technology development project to evaluate and determine the best thermal storage solution to operate a batch-loading, single burn-rate, steel, wood stove with optimal combustion parameters while providing constant heat output in the ideal range for thermal comfort. By integrating a cutting-edge thermal storage unit, this new wood heater technology will solve the problem of room overheating and the problem of poor combustion that can cause safety hazards. This unit is pivotal in achieving a controlled, steady release of heat over extended periods, thereby maximizing energy efficiency. Less wood will be consumed, which leads to less emissions and is less expensive to operate. The simplicity of its construction will make it a more affordable, high-efficiency heater, allowing more low-income families to upgrade their stoves instead of relying on older conventional products.

$300,000
Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM)

Boston, Massachusetts

(02111-2674)

Project: Development and verification of a portable flue gas sampling dilution system for use in the field to assess wood heater emissions. 

 

This project aims to identify, develop, and verify a portable flue gas sampling dilution system for use in the field to assess residential wood heater (RWH) emissions. To assess portable diluter performance, the team shall use a direct mass-based measurement to obtain particulate matter emission rates comparable to those obtained with a dilution tunnel in the lab. Developing a verified in situ dilution system creates the capacity for industry, researchers, and regulators to directly compare emission rates between lab conditions versus field conditions, helping manufacturers explore innovative combustion technologies to improve RWH performance. Verifiable field data can demonstrate emission reductions from new RWHs under actual operating conditions. Long-term project goals include fostering new technology development, identifying opportunities for performance improvements, and advancing new wood heater technology innovations, with the co-benefits of increased energy efficiency for consumers, more sustainable biomass energy for communities, and cleaner air.

$300,000
OneWorld Resource Management in conjunction with OekoSolve AG

Bonney Lake, Washington

(98391-8440)

 

Project:  Demonstration of the efficiency and market readiness of an electrostatic precipitator retrofit technology to reduce wood heater emissions.

 

In efforts to address particulate emissions associated with residential wood heaters (RWHs), this project proposes the integration of electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) as retrofit particulate control devices. ESPs have demonstrated high efficiency in removing fine particulate matter, especially in the PM2.5 size range, across various RWHs. The team will test and analyze the ESP's effectiveness with the goal of developing a body of work to give early adopters confidence in the efficacy of the ESP technology on appliances available in the US market. The results of this project could also lead to a national emission testing protocol for ESPs, which could be recognized by EPA and applied to all testing institutes in the US. There is strong justification that this technology, as well as these scientific tests under a very controlled environment, will advance or even accelerate commercial readiness of the technology on wood heaters with the result of drastically reducing air emission caused by domestic wood burners as well as industrial biomass boilers.

$300,000
Smokeless Chimney

Centralia, Washington 

(98531-9345)

Project: Optimization and validation of an opacity emissions sensor to inform a wood stove air supply controller.

   

Today, Smokeless Chimney unites hearth, health, and planet by creating cleaner, more sustainable ways to enjoy the flames of fire. Join us on this journey towards a brighter future, one flame at a time. This project explores a novel approach to managing wood and pellet heaters. Our advanced light opacity technology measures smoke emissions, seeking for the root cause of smoke and informs the user and/or the stove control system. Partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, we're revolutionizing wood burning, tackling smoke head-on, and transforming every flame into a beacon of cleaner air.

$300,000

Learn more about the Wood Heater Innovation Collaboration.

The Wood Heater Innovation Collaboration (WHIC) is a BETO-funded consortium of National Laboratories (BNL and LBNL) dedicated to accelerating clean wood heater technologies to improve air quality and support energy justice. The goal of WHIC is to enable U.S. wood heater manufacturers and researchers to leverage WHIC partner laboratory capabilities to advance or accelerate commercial readiness of their technologies.