Thursday, March 10, 2011

Improving the Efficiency of an Older Wood Burner

Scott has a 1981 wood burner that was built before the EPA regulations for wood burners came into effect.  The wood burner (like many others of that time period) is still in very good shape, but not very efficient.

Scott worked out a couple ways to improve the efficiency:

1- Adding an air supply to support secondary combustion.  This improves combustion efficiency and heat output, and reduces pollution.
The added air supply to support secondary combustion.

New piping to supply preheated air for secondary combustion near
the top of the firebox.

2 - Retrofitting a catalytic combustor which goes into the flue to burn the remaining burnable stuff in the smoke.  This also improves the combustion efficiency and heat output, and further reduces pollution.
Close up of the catalytic combustor (on right) and the bypass
damper to allow the cat to be bypassed.

Shows the new catalytic combustor installed just
above the stove in the flue.

Scott provides a lot of detail on how he built the two devices and also goes through a nice, simple and inexpensive way to measure wood burner efficiency with just an anemometer and a thermometer.

All the details on Scott's wood burner efficiency project...

More projects and information on wood burners and biofuels...

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