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Cheaper heating using environmentally-friendly wood-burning stoves

Firewood is a key energy resource. Norway has about two million wood-burning stoves, with a little over half in regular use. For this reason, it's important that they are efficient and environmentally-friendly.
An important part of this project will be to optimise the design of the stoves' combustion chambers so that emissions can be kept to a minimum. Photo: Thinkstock
An important part of this project will be to optimise the design of the stoves' combustion chambers so that emissions can be kept to a minimum. Photo: Thinkstock

This is why scientists at SINTEF Energy Research are starting up a research project with the aim of reducing emissions and enhancing the heating comfort provided by our wood-burning stoves.

An important part of this project will be to optimise the design of the stoves’ combustion chambers so that emissions can be kept to a minimum. With the help of modelling tools, in which the dimensions of the stove are defined in detail, they aim to calculate both the heat flux and combustion chemistry.

“In all modelling studies, it’s important to establish the correct subsidiary models for each of the physical and chemical processes taking place. And the data we use in the simulation have to be correct”, writes Project Manager Øyvind Skreiberg in a blog (link: http://blog.sintefenergy.com/fornybar-energi/vi-skal-gjore-det-mer-effektivt-og-miljovennlig-a-fyre-med-ved/).

“Modelling what is known as the “thermal decomposition and burnup” of firewood logs in a wood-burning stove is no easy matter”, he says. “In fact, it’s so difficult that hardly anyone has yet carried out any adequately detailed studies”, explains Skreiberg. The results of this research project may thus lead to major environmental benefits and more sustainable heating. Better energy efficiency will make using wood-burning stoves less expensive.

The project is called “WoodCFD – Clean and efficient wood stoves through improved batch combustion models and CFD modelling approaches”, and is funded by the Research Council of Norway. Industrial partners participating in the project are Jøtul, Dovre, Norsk Kleber and Morsø Jernstøberi.