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EPA Certifications- efficiency report

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Harvey Schneider, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    I became curious about relative efficiency of pellet stoves so I did some digging. It turns out that the EPA does publish a document that has efficiency information on many stoves.

    http://www.epa.gov/oecaerth/resources/publications/monitoring/caa/woodstoves/certifiedwood.pdf

    For some peculiar reason they lump pellet stoves in with wood stoves and even more peculiar is that there are significant omissions from the list. An example of their omission: My Mt Vernon manual states that it is certified and gives a test file number in the owners manual, but is not listed in the EPA document.
    Unfortunately the document only gives EPA assigned efficiencies for pellet stoves, there is no actual test data. This makes the document next to useless. Our government at work!
    Is there a document out there that does a real job of collecting this data?

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Back in 2010 there was a rebate program. I believe some stoves were sent to an independent lab and were tested. Some of the manufacturers had the data on the required certificate needed to get the rebate. There could be some left out there if you dig around?

    My inet is so freekin slow, I can't search for em! err!!
  3. bonesy

    bonesy Feeling the Heat

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    I have the Breckwell certificate but there is no data on it. It just states "The following products are biomass burning appliances that meet or exceed the IRS guidelines for Section 25C of the Internal Revenue Code."
  4. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    Yep, certification without the data. Trust me?

    Attached Files:

  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Attached Files:

  6. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    That's the first real looking numbers I've seen. I copied some out for everybody to see more easily:

    Enviro - EF2, EF2i, FS and FPI 87 Pellet
    Enviro - Mini 75 Pellet
    Enviro - Empress FS 83.5 Pellet
    Enviro - Empress FPI 83.1 Pellet
    Enviro - EF3 FS, EF3 FPI, EF3Bi FS, Vista Flame - VF100 FS 75.8 Pellet
    Enviro - EF5 (Evolution) 79.8 Pellet
    Enviro - Meridian FS & Meridian FPI 75.8 Pellet
    Enviro - Maxx 86 Pellet
    Enviro - Milan FPI 83.1 Pellet
    Enviro - Omega 79.5 Pellet
    Enviro - M55 76.6 Pellet
    Vistaflame - VF 55 79.8 Pellet

    A llittle hard to read, but the numbers range from 75% to 87% that's a pretty big range. So all pellet stoves are not created equal.
    The governments 78% across the board is not meaningful.
  7. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Not sure if they are dead accurate. The Maxx comes in at 86 and the Omega is 79.5 Both stoves are on the same chassis with the same convection tubes/combustion blower. A little bit different engine in the Omega. Maxx has a larger convection blower. For the most part pretty much the same stove. I doubt the agitator in the Omega's burnpot and the slight bit of difference in the feed rate is going to make them that far from each other. Maybe?
  8. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I agree with you, Jtakeman. There's probably a lot of 'slop' in the testing regime with the end goal to meet the good ole EPA's infinite wisdom goals..... From my efforts to improve the Quad's efficiency, I would think that the higher convection blower speed would break up the laminar flow layer and transfer more heat..... maybe... possibly...... Now I sound like the government!

    Try unplugging your internet modem/router and starting them back up. Modem first and then router. It helped me yesterday when I had the same problem.
  9. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Problem was with my wifi when I'm on my tablet at work. I'm home now and my network is doing fine.

    I had to switch the tablet to a t1 line and I was able to post the link for Harvey. I think we had a cell tower go down cause its usually pretty fast.
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Ah.... That's good!!! Our cell phone reception really sucks around here.
  11. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

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    Thanks for that link to the Enviro numbers. I hadn't seen that. First, these are LHV numbers and it should prominently say that, if it doesn't. Second, EPA doesn't test stoves, and wouldn't like the heading "EPA Tested Efficiency." They do endorse the Canadian efficiency test method B415.1, and I assume this is how these wood and pellet stoves are tested, which is the most legitimate, reliable way to test. The EPA list of certified stoves does have actual efficiencies now for about 15 stoves - mostly catalytic, but some non-cat. Any manufacturer can voluntarily submit real, actual efficiency numbers and give consumers some more info, but very few do. Blaze King has submitted the most actual efficiencies. Woodstock Soapstone, Travis, Jotul and one other have real, actual efficiencies on that list now. We wrote something up about it: http://forgreenheat.blogspot.com/2012/10/epa-starts-listing-actual-efficiencies.html.
  12. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    This is a pellet stove forum. If it's catalytic, I expect that it is a wood stove and not a pellet stove. I have never heard of a catalytic pellet stove.
    The document I saw had an assigned efficiency (78%) for all of the pellet stoves listed. I know that there is a difference in efficiency in my two stoves. I was just trying to quantify it without having to measure delta air temperature and air flow. The best I can do, measuring efficiency myself, would have too big a margin of error to be meaningful. I expected the EPA to actually have required and collected efficiency and emissions data. I was wrong.
  13. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I found it quite interesting that the Europa Dell Point was at 78% and so wasn`t the low end Englander at 1/4 it`s cost.
  14. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    Those aren't real numbers. They were values assigned by the EPA.
  15. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Regardless of being real or assigned the facts remain the cheapest Englander pellet stoves are still EPA approved and only cost 20-25% of a high end one.
    A .6- 2.6 particle rating spread has to be pretty much meaningless since it doesn`t necessarily have anything to do with heat output of a given stove.
    I was just trying to make a point of how these posted EPA figures can be meaningless in some respects.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I'm from the gubmint and I tell you they are all the same just like them pellets. Somewhere on the back forty I have a nice bridge, anyone like to bid on a slightly used bridge the sign on it says Brooklyn.

    That particle spread might interest you if you are outside and have asthma.
  17. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    The m55 scores lower than the vista flame vf55 and they are one and the same, so the test isn't accurate either.
  18. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    Hey, look at that my 20 year old Invincible RS is the most efficient Harman listed woohoo
  19. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Here`s some advertising hype regarding emissions from Lignetics :
    "Lignetics wood pellets and fire logs are a carbon neutral form of biomass fuel. Our products burn hot enough to reduce emissions to 1.2 grams per hour when burned in an EPA-certified wood burning appliance. This falls well below the nationwide EPA regulation of less than 7.5 grams per hour and makes our wood pellets and fire logs the cleanest and most efficient forms of biomass fuel available today."
    I wonder what brand fuel the EPA was using?
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if anyone has a clue.
  21. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Moderator Staff Member

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    One of the government scientists likely do but in Canada they have been effectively muzzled - have to go through the Minister of the department to speak publicly and they aren't getting it with the Harper government. To get the real story, have to rely on investigative report from the news media who go through Freedom of Information requests. News had a story a while ago that a public servant (think from Ministry of Environment) wrote a science fiction book and couldn't do his book tour because he didn't get approval from the Minister. Another example was Linda Keen in charge of Canadian Nuclear Safety who was fired for stating Chalk River Reactor had to be shut down for needed rehab. Parliment overrode her decision due to shortage of radioactive isotopes this would cause. Chalk River was shut down 1 1/2 years later. Hopefully Keen sued for wrongful dismissal...

    Regardless of the slight of hand, smoke and mirrors, misdirection - wood pellets are a renewable resource that uses what would previously have been waste and reduces dependance on oil:cool: Costs less and keeps my family warm so I'm happy:)
  22. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Infernos
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Could be why there is variations. Maybe they used several different brands thinking that all pellets are the same?
  24. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Moderator Staff Member

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  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Heat exchanger differences or convection fan differences can do that and would be plausible reasons. It doesn't take much sometimes.

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