1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Does EPA test methods hinder stove innovation?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by John Ackerly, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,939
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    biggest thing to understand with "thermal efficiency" with a woodstove is that you simply have to lose some in order to burn at all.

    think about stack temps, they come from the fire itself. without them not only would it be far and away harder to simply burn wood, the effects on chimneys is going to be pretty ugly.

    as for EPA, they aren't concerned with "thermal" efficiency, simply the amount of harmful particulates released into the air. the "btu's listed on the paper hang tag aren't even accurate to what you would attain with seasoned cord wood or a full load. its what is measured in the test itself with the cribs.

    as for the disparity with the test and real world, its simple, a stove which produces a lower GPH in the test should in theory produce a lower GPH in a real world situation. that doesn't mean all of them will simply due to different variables , but the majority will do so.

    as for the advancement of standards, its coming boys and girls, i expect the national requirements to at very least mimic washington state very soon, with tighter regs following. ESW is working hard to stay ahead of this as im sure my friend Fyrebug and his team are doing as well up there, its not easy, but its gonna get done.
    FyreBug likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    Conifer Colorado
    It is easier to make more power from a Diesel because there is more energy in Diesel fuel
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,634
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
  4. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    It's possible to achieve. But then you lose draft. All efficiencies you have gained you now have to pay at the back end for powering up forced draft.

    For wood stoves, the current methodology is the 'stack loss' method. Basically measure how much heat loss through venting. EPA is now considering the HHV method.
  5. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Understood... but these changes were incremental.

    Imagine the noise if the EPA came up with a rule that within 2 years all truck had to reduce emissions by 400% and increase gas mileage (efficiency) by 80% as EPA is suggesting for wood stoves.

    The point is changes are welcomed. But making drastic changes in a short period of time will hurt or kill small MFG's, provide less choice to the consumer, remove competition, increase cost of unit and ultimately not affect the ultimate goal of cleaning up the atmosphere.

    However, this is a worst case scenario. The industry meets with EPA on an ongoing basis and try to discuss the best approach so everyones goals are met.
  6. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,495
    Loc:
    South Central Indiana
    Frye, can you explain for everyone the HHV method vs the current method?

    I would be interested in knowing the difference.
  7. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,055
    Loc:
    SE Michigan
    If a Company used a electric pre-heater to get the CAT up to temp super fast, I think there would be less emission on start up?

    Personally I think when ever the Government starts running or regulating anything it destroys some of the innovation.
  8. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    639
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Yes it is if the components allow it! I am not selling anything here but:

    2.0t VW/audi stock 200hp/205tq JUST SOFTWARE 254hp/265tq

    1.9TDI VW/AUdi stock 100hp/177tq JUST SOFTWARE 139hp/256tq

    The tdi is no smoke unlike the big trucks. The tdi is 100% ecu control and monitoring of all components unlike the big trucks.

    I know this waaaaay off topic so I won't say anymore!

    To respond to BB when the EPA says, " you need to make them more efficient". Then I think you would see more innovative stuff, over and out!
  9. Buckincrazy

    Buckincrazy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    3
  10. Buckincrazy

    Buckincrazy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    3
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,200
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Not so. Finally the fleet average MPG requirement (CAFE) has gone up. The govt. doesn't tell carmakers how to do this. There have been some diverse approaches toward achieving this goal.
  12. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    Loc:
    Washington, DC
    Just reread this string and was struck by universal support for the 1988 EPA regulations. I agree that definitely spurred innovation by those who had the wherewithal. Those regulations didn't apply to pellet stoves, and we saw the invention of the pellet stove - which probably represents the greatest single innovation in cleaner wood heating in last 30 years. Outdoor boilers weren't regulated either, and the opposite seemed to happened: very little innovation, lots of advertising and promotion - and terrible efficiency and emission numbers.

    Also seemed that lots of folks identified high cost of testing as a barrier to innovation. Testing costs wouldn't be so bad if you culd sell 2 or 3 times the number of stoves that most manufacturers sell. Then the test costs would be far lower, per stove sold.

    I'm also not convinced that cleaner and higher efficiency stoves means a lot more cost. Once the technology is developed - like secondary burn tubes - everyone adopts it. Its amazing how millions of people struggled for centuries trying to figure out who to get heat in the room and smoke out of it, and not even Ben Franklin realized that it simply took a closed stove. The Germans had already figured it out with both steel and masonry, as lots of other northern European countries had. But in the U.K. and the U.S., we resisted the obvious innovation that occurred. We finally got closed stoves, then we got stoves that closed too much, and then EPA required they get enough air to keep them cleaner. Who knows what the next chapter holds.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,200
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    High testing costs are still a barrier to innovation. It stops small shops that can't afford it from participating. They may have great ideas that garner little attention without EPA certification.
    FyreBug likes this.
  14. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,939
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va

    actually it does, as long as its tested for epa cert. ALL of our current pellet stoves are tested to phase 2 and exceed it , "dirtiest" one we have came in at 3.1 GPH many pellet stoves are rated "epa exempt" as air is well above the 35/1 loophole. biggest reason as said above is cost, figure 100K floor figure to develop and certify a new design as EPA certified. we do the same testing in house the lab does so we know the unit will pass when we send it up to test but it takes time and work and money.

Share This Page