5th Wood Stove Design Challenge launches with January workshop

By Erin Voegele | January 03, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, along with the Alliance for Green Heat, on Dec. 16 announced the launch of the 5th Wood Stove Design Challenge, with the final competition scheduled for the winter of 2023.

According to BNL, the initiative aims to bring together researchers, developers and manufacturers to identify and demonstrate new pathways to consistently lower emissions from the next generation of wood stoves. The first year of the challenge features a series of seminars with domestic and international scholars, experts and industry leaders. The second year features a “technology slam” where judges will select teams to receive funding. During the third year, teams will build prototypes of next generation wood stoves that will be tested under carefully controlled lab conditions.

“This competition will explore how far we can go in advancing residential biomass combustion. Wood stove technology does not need to be stuck in the past,” said Brookhaven Lab Engineer Rebecca Trojanowski.

A statement released by BNL explains the international competition intends to show how modern technologies can help consumers use wood and pellets to meet renewable energy needs. The challenge also seeks to bring many automated wood stove models to the market in coming years.

Registration for the first workshop is open though Jan. 7. The virtual workshop, scheduled for Jan. 11-12, focuses on advances in wood heater design and technology. The event will include short technical presentations followed by breakout sessions focused on improving biomass combustion through modeling, advanced control strategies, advanced combustion strategies, keeping biomass relevant in the electrified heating sector, catalysts and ESPs, and advanced hydronic heater design concepts.

A second workshop focused on advances in instrumentation used for wood heater testing and field data collection is scheduled for Feb. 22-23, while a third workshop focused on the adoption of new wood heater technology and integration with other renewables is scheduled for March 28-29.

The Technology Slam will be held in fall 2022, with the stove competition scheduled for winter 2023. According to BNL, participants wishing to complete in the competition must participate in a research SLAM. The research SLAM will follow a “Shark Tank” type pitch in which participants present a 5-10 minute video presentation highlighting their intended wood heater design and value proposition. A panel of judges will review those presentations and select the top innovative technology ideas to move forward in the competition.

Additional information is available on the BNL website