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Pellet Stove Design Challenge

A yearlong project to test and assess pellet stoves is entered its first phase last summer. This first phase focused on the most popular pellet stoves in North America and aimed to help consumers identify the most efficient stoves and how best to operate them.

The initiative is being led by the Alliance for Green Heat with a wide group of partner organizations and stove experts. Pellet stoves are increasingly popular in North America and Europe, are far cleaner than wood stoves and have enormous potential to replace fossil heating fuel.

The second phase of the project will feature an international stove technology competition to spotlight innovative and high performing pellet stoves and prototypes. At the competition, there will also be a 3-day workshop with a series of roundtable discussions, presentations, lab and testing workshops and more. The event will be held at Brookhaven National Laboratory from April 6-8 in Upton, New York.

Applications for innovative stove designs are now being accepted and 6-8 finalists will be chosen by the Project Advisory Committee. We urge anyone considering entering a stove or stove prototype to fill out the letter of interest as soon as possible. The full application is due on January 26, 2016.

Attendee registration has begun. Attendees will be able to visit the labs and see the testing and attend 3 days of presentations, workshops and round table discussions about pellet stove heating, culminating in an awards ceremony recognizing the winning stoves in the competition

Who Should Participate


This pellet stove challenge marks the third Stove Design Challenge, and the second to take place at Brookhaven. Previous challenges, including the inaugural Wood Stove Design Challenge on the National Mall in 2013, focused on promoting technological innovations that would help ensure wood stoves burn cleaner in the hands of consumers. All the Stove Design Challenges involve stakeholder engagement in testing and assessing stoves, the opportunity to see and understand how testing works, and workshops and roundtables that bring together industry, regulators, air quality groups, non-profits and the media.

There are approximately one million pellet stoves in North America. Unlike the wood stove market, which has many manufacturers, most pellet stoves are made by just a handful of companies. The project will independently test some of the most popular models made in North America and Europe for emissions and efficiency. The first round of tests will follow EPA lab testing protocols in an EPA accredited test lab. The second round will test the six stoves at Brookhaven National Lab, where we will also test heat output and efficiency differences using high and low heat output settings.

The project expects to produce some data about the variability and reproducibility of emissions and efficiency in pellet stove testing.

To get better baseline data on some popular stoves, the Alliance for Green Heat submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the EPA asking for emission and efficiency data for each of the four tested burn rates. The Alliance also asked for moisture and ash content of the pellets used in the certification tests.




Funding for the ongoing Wood Stove Design Challenge initiative has been provided by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), Osprey Foundation, the US Forest Service and the Alliance for Green Heat.