Posts Tagged ‘wood pellet boilers’

Clarkson University & SUNY Canton Research More Energy Efficient Renewable Wood Heating Systems

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Clarkson University and SUNY Canton are researching renewable wood heating systems that would improve energy efficiency in New York State.

Researchers at the universities are evaluating a new generation of wood pellet boilers that were developed in Austria and now are being manufactured in New York State. Director of Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment and Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor Philip K. Hopke recently led a tour of the three experimental North Country wood pellet boiler sites with Renewable Heat NY personnel from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Ellen G. Burkhard, senior project manager at New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, looks at data on boiler performance, including temperatures and combustion air supply fans, while touring a wood pellet boiler system in Parishville, N.Y. Clarkson University and SUNY Canton are researching renewable wood heating systems that would improve energy efficiency in New York State.

Ellen G. Burkhard, senior project manager at New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, looks at data on boiler performance, including temperatures and combustion air supply fans, while touring a wood pellet boiler system in Parishville, N.Y. Clarkson University and SUNY Canton are researching renewable wood heating systems that would improve energy efficiency in New York State.

Wood pellet boilers provide an alternative heating system that efficiently burns wood pellets to provide hot water heating. The pellets are heated at a low temperature, the resulting gas is effectively burned, and the energy output from burning the pellets heats water in thermal storage tanks. The hot water in the tanks is then distributed to the building to provide heat.

“The wood heating system evaluations by Clarkson University and SUNY Canton will prove the benefits of these cleaner, more efficient boilers,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “In alignment with Governor Cuomo’s Renewable Heat NY initiative, this project will help lead to growth in this industry and will provide demonstrated alternatives to high-polluting wood boilers.”

One wood pellet boiler is installed at the Walker Center at Clarkson University, and two more boilers are located in residences in the Potsdam area.

“Clarkson is proud to be able to help demonstrate these new high efficiency, clean-burning wood pellet systems that reduce our carbon emissions, save money for the end-user, and promote economic development in New York State,” Hopke said.

SUNY Canton Distinguished Professor Emeritus Arthur G. Hurlbut, Ph.D. and Canino School of Engineering Technology Interim Dean Michael J. Newtown have been overseeing pellet boiler installations at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm. The new boilers serve as a tool to educate the community about different options for wood heating.

Nathan M. Christy of Canton and John C. Johnson of DeKalb test the emissions of a wood pellet boiler in SUNY Canton’s Harry E. King Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Laboratory.

Nathan M. Christy of Canton and John C. Johnson of DeKalb test the emissions of a wood pellet boiler in SUNY Canton’s Harry E. King Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Laboratory.

“Many households can benefit from the cost and convenience of wood pellet boilers,” Hurlbut said. “It is my hope that our research will help people consider switching to cost-effective heating solutions over more expensive options.”

The wood heating systems are being supported by Renewable Heat NY, an initiative from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo that provides NYSERDA incentives toward the installed costs of high-efficiency, low-emission wood heating systems in order to build a sustainable, high-efficiency, low-emission wood heating sector in New York. Renewable Heat NY is also helping to develop clean technology manufacturing based in New York, a skilled high-efficiency wood heating system installer base, and sustainably harvested wood fuels from state forests—supporting economic development while preserving the environment.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

About Clarkson

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

New SUNY Canton Grant Funded Research May Help Offset High Home-Heating Costs

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced new grant funding designated for wood pellet boiler research following an application by SUNY Canton.

Skylar P. Reynolds of Ogdensburg loads wood pellets into the hopper of a large wood pellet boiler.

Skylar P. Reynolds of Ogdensburg loads wood pellets into the hopper of a large wood pellet boiler.

Rural residents in upstate New York may be able to offset the high cost of fossil fuels by implementing new wood pellet boilers with large-capacity feeding capabilities.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced a $163,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for SUNY Canton to measure the efficiency of automatic-feeding wood pellet boilers.

“We will study all aspects of the combustion process of wood pellets and can determine how efficient a heating appliance will be when installed for residential or commercial use,” said Michael J. Newtown, interim dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “A component of this grant is to demonstrate the long term efficiencies and emissions from heating with wood pellets.”

Newtown and Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Dean Arthur G. Hurlbut filed the grant to demonstrate how pellet boilers could replace conventional fuel-oil furnaces. Fuel oil costs have spiked recently and can cost in excess of $4 a gallon in some areas. It would take approximately $1.70 in wood pellets to produce equivalent heat of a gallon of fuel oil, approximately 130,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs), according to Hurlbut.

“We are setting up three boiler systems as demonstration sites at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Canton,” Hurlbut said. “One of the units we are installing will automatically vacuum feed the pellets into a hopper, making it as convenient to maintain as a fuel-oil boiler.”

The grant was designed to deliver findings to the public, including the benefits of heating with pelletized wood over traditional cordwood. Wood pellets are manufactured locally by Massena-based Curran Renewable Energy and can be delivered in bulk to the end user, similar to current delivery methods for fuel-oil users. Bulk pellets are easier for a consumer to use than conventional cordwood, because they take up less space and the large-capacity machines require fewer refills.

Nathan M. Christy of Canton and John C. Johnson of DeKalb test the emissions of a wood pellet boiler in SUNY Canton’s Harry E. King Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Laboratory.

Nathan M. Christy of Canton and John C. Johnson of DeKalb test the emissions of a wood pellet boiler in SUNY Canton’s Harry E. King Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Laboratory.

The College has previously tested the buildings for energy efficiency using Building Performance Institute energy audits. All three structures will respond similarly to many homes in the North Country. Heating costs from previous years are also available, so the demonstration will show actual savings. The heating systems can be monitored remotely and data findings will be made public.

Newtown and Hurlbut previously studied the combustion of switch grass pellets in pellet-burning stoves based on a 2009 NYSERDA grant. Two journal articles were published based on the findings in Energy and Fuels, an American Chemical Society publication.

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.