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Fourth Wood Stove Competition to focus on automation and electricity generation

Results of the Challenge can be found here and here.

The fourth Wood Stove Design Challenge will be on the National Mall in Washington, DC from Friday, November 9 through Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Twelve teams will be competing.  

The 2018 event will be free and open to the public and includes rigorous testing of the next generation of technology that can make wood stoves consistently cleaner, more efficient, easier to use and, like solar energy, a renewable source of electricity.

The fourth Wood Stove Design Challenge is modeled after the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Solar Decathlon, a competition between teams from universities worldwide to design more efficient and cheaper residential solar power. Like the Solar Decathlon, the Wood Stove Challenge also attracts teams from around the world and focuses energy and resources on innovation and improved performance. The competition is funded primarily by the DOE's Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Osprey Foundation. The event is a collaboration between industry partners, government agencies and other institutions, reflecting the diversity of stakeholders in this energy sector. Among the many in-kind supporters who provided volunteer labor, expertise and equipment, we especially want to the Olympia Chimney for donating all the chimney pipe and accessories.  

Participants will compete in two events:  One is to automate the wood stove with 21st century technology like sensors and WIFI-enabled controls that improve combustion efficiency, reduce air pollution and improve ease of use.   The second competition will focus on thermoelectric wood stoves that generate electricity to power lights, cell phones, and WIFI-enabled controls. Thermoelectric generators are similar to solar PV systems except they turn heat instead of light into electricity.  When integrated with a residential solar PV system, a thermoelectric wood stove and battery power system, like the TESLA Powerwall, could effectively double the wintertime output of solar PV system in areas like northern United States, Canada and northern Europe.

Wood stoves are still used by 30 – 60% of homes in hundreds of rural and suburban counties around the country.  Yet, the technology revolution that has swept household appliances in the last 20 years has by-passed wood stove technology. 

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