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Alliance for Green Heat and the New York State Energy Research and
The Pellet Stove Design Challenge supports the commitment of
New York State, the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National
Lab, the U.S. Forest Service and a number of other states, agencies
and institutions to understand and improve the technology,
engineering and smart deployment of pellet stoves to reduce reliance
on fossil heating fuels.
The stoves will be judged for particulate matter emissions, efficiency,
safety, innovation and market potential. The winner of the
competition will be the team that best blends these qualities. The
stoves present a wide range of design approaches, including gravity
feed, downdraft burners, a combination cordwood/pellet stove, a
$ 300 stove and more traditional designs.
In April 2016, the teams will showcase their stoves at Brookhaven
National Lab during the workshop and conference that are open
to the public. The event includes several days of panel discussions
and informal roundtables on pellet stove technology, public health,
deployment, policy and innovation in pellet and cord wood stoves.
The technology competition will be followed by a multi-year
initiative to exhibit the winning stoves and educate consumers and
agencies that deal with wood smoke issues and the deployment of
residential renewable energy systems. NYSERDA is providing
support for this competition with additional support being provided
by the Osprey Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.
NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “The Pellet
Stove Design Challenge is an innovative way to advance new
technologies that can potentially provide consumers with higher
efficiency pellet stoves. This competition aligns with Governor
Cuomo’s Renewable Heat NY initiative, which is building a
sustainable, high-efficiency, low-emissions wood heating sector
in New York.”
Three stoves will be extensively tested and compete for a grand
prize and four demonstration stoves will provide comparative,
baseline data. The three competition stoves are:
1. A prototype that will burn cord wood or pellets and is controlled
by sensor technology made by DBFZ, a German company,
that markets in the U.S. through Wittus Fire by Design of
Pound Ridge, New York.
2. A new stove coming to the commercial market later this year,
made by Seraph Industries, a small Illinois company, known
for robust heat exchangers and a track record of
transparency and high efficiency multi-fuel stoves.
3.The Torrefire pellet stove, made by Seattle inventor
Geoffrey Johnson, which is a prototype that employs radically
different combustion and heat transfer strategies.
The four demonstration stoves are:
1. The Vibrastove, made by Noble Metals Recovery, a small
Virginia company that is a downdraft, gravity feed stove,
inspired by rocket stoves.
2. A modified Quadra-Fire pellet stove made by a student
team from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
3. One of the cleanest commercial pellet stoves on the market
today that is certified at less than .3 grams per hour.
4. Another very clean commercially available pellet stove,
certified at less than .6 grams per hour.
The event is also bringing attention to the need for cleaner
cord wood stoves. A student team from the State University
of New York at Stony Brook and MF Fire, a company that
grew from at University of Maryland team, will be showcasing
automated, sensor controlled wood stoves.
The 2016 Pellet Stove Design Challenge is the third stove
challenge that the Alliance for Green Heat will host. The first
was a cord wood stove competition held on the National Mall
in Washington DC in 2013 and the second was held at Brookhaven
National Lab in 2014. The Alliance for Green Heat, a non-profit
education and advocacy organization manages the Challenge,
which was inspired by the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.
“We strive to foster a community that shares ideas and data to push
this technology forward and get pellet stoves the recognition they
deserve as a mainstream renewable energy technology,” said John
Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat. “Like solar and
wind, pellet stoves have huge potential in the United States to
drastically reduce household use of fossil fuels if the technology can
raise efficiency and reduce emission levels,” Ackerly added.
According to the Alliance for Green Heat, the average pellet stove in
the U.S. is believed to be around 70 percent efficient but many of
the most popular models are in the low 60s and the best ones are
around 80 percent efficient. About one million homes are heated
with pellet stoves in the United States, with sales averaging about
75,000 per year. An efficient pellet stove can pay itself back in
three-to-five years, depending on the heat source being replaced.
Currently, the federal government offers a $ 300 tax credit for new
pellet stoves. Eight states including Idaho, Maryland, Maine,
Montana, Oregon and New York, offer incentives of up to several
thousand dollars for pellet stoves.
The Advisory Committee that oversees the Challenge includes
representatives from NYSERDA, Brookhaven National Lab, the
USDA Forest Service, the Washington State Department of Ecology,
the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Clarkson
University and others.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is New York Governor Andrew
M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy
system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy
policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will
grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure
grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase
choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally
produced power at the very core of New York’s energy system. This
protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 40% while generating 50% of its
electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful
initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green
Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy
affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV,
visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us @REV4NY.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information
and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to
help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use
renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA
professionals work to protect the environment and create clean
energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance
innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn
more about NYSERDA’s programs, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us
on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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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