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Next Generation Stove Design Challenge Finalist Announced

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Huntindog1, Jan 31, 2013.

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  1. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Finalists Announced for International Competition to Build Cleaner Wood Stove


    Pool of inventors, universities and manufacturers will compete in first-ever Wood Stove Design Challenge.



    [​IMG]
    Alliance for Green Heat, January 31, 2013 - Judges announced today the 14 finalists for theWood Stove Design Challenge, the first international competition to build an affordable, cleaner-burning wood stove for residential heating. The finalists' stoves will be tested and judged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.,in November 2013. The winner will receive $25,000 cash.

    The Wood Stove Design Challenge was launched by the Alliance for Green Heat, an independent non-profit, to bring more innovation to a popular, widely used renewable energy device. In selecting finalists, judges looked for designs that could produce ultra-low emissions, high efficiency, in addition to innovation, affordability, and marketability.

    "The competition brings together innovators - whether established manufacturers or backyard inventors - to improve America's most widespread residential renewable energy device, the wood stove. We've seen how technologies like oxygen sensors and catalysts have made today's automobiles far less polluting. We're excited to help encourage a similar technological revolution in wood stoves," said Jim Meigs, judge and Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics.

    Among the 14 designs are stoves controlled by microprocessors and connected to smartphones, as well as ultra-efficient stoves based on 17th century Scandinavian designs and several state-of-the-art hybrid stoves that are already on the market. Six are from Europe.

    The nine judges met last week at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory and include leading experts from Popular Mechanics, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), the US Forest Service, Washington State Department of Ecology, DOE Brookhaven National Laboratory, The Biomass Thermal Energy Council, the Osprey Foundation, the Masonry Heater Association and UC Berkeley.

    The EPA requires most new wood stoves to be far cleaner than the unregulated stoves of the 1970s and 80s, which were notoriously polluting. Even so, the wood stove has not been embraced as a clean energy technology by most policy makers or the public, in part because low emissions are only achieved if consumers operate the stove correctly. Many don't.

    "We need stoves that incorporate best practices in combustion engineering to maximize efficiency and drastically reduce particulates and carbon monoxide. Then, wood stoves will be able to meet even more of our residential heating needs," said Mark Knaebe, one of the judges and a Natural Resource Specialist at the USDA Forest Service.

    The 14 chosen teams are: Dragon Heat, The Firemaster, Helbro Stoves, Hwam, Intercontinental, Kimberly, Ofenbau & Feuerstein, SmartStove, Travis Industries, Tulukivi, University of Maryland, Walker Stoves, Wittus and Woodstock Soapstone.

    Most of the teams represent established wood stove companies, but five are independent inventors and engineering students who have never brought a stove to market. Some are looking to sell their inventions to manufacturers and others are looking for recognition so they can ramp up production.

    The Grand Prize and second and third place winners will be selected during the Wood Stove Decathlon, held on the Washington National Mall and open to the public in November 2013.

    We thank our Design Challenge sponsors for their support:
    [​IMG]

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    thanks to you (and John A in a similar post) for the links. There are some pretty cool stoves and designs there, IMHO. Is the Woodstock (Union) model available to the public, or will it be anytime soon? I though there was some talk around their newer "more affordable" entry recently - I assume this is it? Lopi hybrid also in the running which I think has been in a few discussions here recently too. I believe these 2 companies are well represented here on the forums. I wonder if the other finalists have any fans here...?
  3. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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  4. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Man that meeting took place like ten minutes from my house. I wish it was open to the public. I live in Brookhaven township.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    "it employs secondary combustion and a catalytic combustor, along with a self-regulating air/fuel ratio for maximum output and efficiency."
    Does that mean it has a thermostat?
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    And the Woodstock is a front loader? Holy crap!
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    If the "Intercontinental" wins, can they rename it to the "Intercontinental Champion" and have Rowdy Roddy Piper or Bret "The Hitman" Hart as the spokesperson?
    dafattkidd and bag of hammers like this.
  8. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    LOL but feeling old at the same time....
  9. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    The Woodstock is the only really exciting thing there, at least for us. Not saying anything bad about the Cape Cod, just that we already know about that one. Anything 'smart', I want no part of. Masonry heaters are awesome, just not practical for the majority.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Mean Gene Okerlund can do the voice over talent for the commercial.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  11. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    I'm kinda in the same camp, regarding smart stoves. Seemed to be a wide range of opinions, if I recall, from a smart stove / Inveninc thread on this forum a while back. If the Woodstock unit ends up selling at a lower price point, given the reputation of their other stoves and rave reviews here, this would be really really tempting IMHO.
    jeff_t likes this.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Any word on how big the Union stove (woodstock) is supposed to be?
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Between how it looks and what people have said previously, I am under the assumption that it is the same firebox as the Progress.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is 2.8, correct?
  15. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If it really does have a good thermostat, it's gonna be killer.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yuppers. Woodstock is pulling out some surprises. It will be a while yet though before we know too much Congratulations to Tom and all the Woodstock people.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Correct.
  18. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    I see the Kimberly in there too Yikes a 4K mini stove and that 4k includes nothing .. The price is derived at what people usually Pay for a wood stove installed gee what marketing .. this things about 500$ on a good day worth of material ive seen this thing operate and itd be ok at like $1500 But 4K nooooo
  19. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Who should I support here. Blaze King and Woodstock have the advantage if they use the Super Cedar at start up, ( a whole one) Maybe make them something special with a little pop!
    Thomas
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  20. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    super cedar = special kindeling?
  21. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    seems like the firemaster could be a good thing for older stoves in good shape etc...
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It was $3500, which I would guess is based on the marine market. They'll pay 2X for anything that works reliably in a boat and won't corrode in a year on salt water.
  23. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    yep guess so they quoted me 4K a month ago and the owner upset that i asked justify 4K at which i was told reg stoves of this power cost 4K installed blah blah ooook tanks excellent sales pitch and the stainless market being sketchy these days stainless you buy today may infact corrode ..
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Don't know that I'd want a front loader, but it surely would be nice to have a bigger door for loading splits. I like BIG splits. That Woodstock Union looks to have a much bigger door than the PH, even if it has the same firebox. That would likely mean you could get a lot more wood in there. If you ever needed to.
  25. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    If they charge 4k and have 500 in materials that leaves 3500
    Most dealer networks for any product get a 30% discount to sell the product and promote it cover carrying costs for having inventory so
    4000 X .30 = 1200 3500- 1200 = 2300
    I have a small manufacturing company and my personal estimate is it takes between 10 to 12 man hours to build the stove using modern shears benders plasma cutters and welders so lets call it 10. The average fabricator / welder around here gets 20 to 25 dollars an hour if skilled at the trade.so the middle is 22.50 in wages X10 hours = 225.00 but the actual cost for an employee also have SSI workman's compensation health insurance vacation time sick time a couple of personal days and about 11 national holidays off. This in general can be roughed out as equal to the wages in most cases more or less. so another 225 so labor is 225 x2= 450
    2300 -450 = 1850
    In order to build the stoves in quantity you need plasma cutters shears welders and various cranes and fork lifts that can work with very heavy sheets of plate steel plus paint booths and packaging equipment. In round numbers maybe 2 million in equipment. There is a building that I would think a minimum of 30,000 sq ft to 50,000 sq ft to house all this stuff and have some sort of assembly line for streamlined work flow. call it 40,000 to be in the middle. Most commercial space rents for about 8.00 per sq ft on an annual basis. so 320,000 in rent every year. this still leaves people in sales, engineering and management plus advertising / promotional costs If you bundle all those costs at 15% of each sold the 400 X .15 = 600
    1850 - 600 = 1250 for a potential profit
    Now you have federal state and local taxes for my small biz they eat up 40% of profit so..
    1250 - 500 = 750
    There is still carrying cost for materials plant maintenance equipment maintenance office supplies utilities and a myriad of other costs I am willing to bet their net profit per unit was closer to 500 per unit or less than the dealer...
    This is a closer to reality view of manufacturing in the USA and how companies like GM Ford and Chrysler can go bankrupt quickly if things go bad.

    I would not be so quick to fault the company until you have tried to run a manufacturing plant of any size trying to build things in a volume for nation distribution. What amazes me is how cars can cost so little considering their complexity and a stove can cost so much. There must be a reduction in cost due to scale of manufacturing that defies common sense.

    sorry for the long post but hopefully a peek into the pitfalls and costs of doing business.
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