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2015 Ontario Stove Testing Camp

July 9 - 10, 2015

with Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
photo story by Norbert Senf

Back to Lopez Labs

The camp took place at Burt's Greenhouses near Kingston ON.
This is the shed that holds the 1.25 Megawatt chip fired boiler system.

Attendees came from as far away as New Mexico and Norway

Alex English, who runs the boilers at Burt's, introduces Crispin Pemberton-Pigott from New Dawn Engineering

We started with a live burn to demonstrate the concepts of a natural draft, top-lit updrafting gasifier (ND-TLUD)
In this view the stove is upside down, showing the primary air inlet beneath the fuel bed.

The burn chamber sits inside an outer sleeve that is used to preheat the secondary air.

Secondary air holes at the top. Notice the initial long flaming of the wood gases.

As the wood burns down to char at the bottom, the flaming is shorter and happens at the secondary air inlets.

A restrictor to prevent cold air downdrafting in the tube.

An improved stove that Crispin designed for Mongolia to burn the local lignite coal, achieved a particulate emissions reduction of 99.9%,
A stove changeout program reduced the heavy air pollution in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar by 65%

MHA member Andrew Brunning attended the workshop, and brought down this precast rocket firebox.

A $1.00 stove developed by Crispin for Haiti. It is sitting on a digital scale that measures the weight loss from the fuel in order to
determine the burn rate and power output in  real time.

To the left is Jan Sorensen from Norway, who manufactures stoves in Zambia, and is involved in a biochar project there.

This custom software takes data from the scale and converts it for stove testing use.

Notice the flamelets at the secondary air holes.

Lighting another TLUD stove, burning pellets. The 4" pipe is used to accelerate the draft and help get the pellets lit.

The bottom of the pipe is touching the pellet bed, drawing air through the pellets from underneath.

Alex English shows the Condar portable dilution tunnel that he made many years ago after a visit to Lopez Labs.
He has done much innovative research into commercial biomass greenhouse heating, and has worked closely in the past with
CANMET, the Canadian government combustion laboratory.

Terrence Sauvé examines densified brickets that Alex has experimented with. On the right is Brian Burt, the owner
of the greenhouse operation.
Terrence is an engineer working for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, consulting on farm scale biomass systems.

In the black shirt is Nathan Jones, who is a field engineer for Combined Heat and Biochar, with ClearStak
He is demonstrating the Wohler real time particulate emissions analyzer.

Second from the left is Julien Winter, a soil scientist who is involved in a biochar project in Bangladesh.
Julien prepared t
his summary of his recent TLUD research.

Terrence Sauvé chats with Lance Grace, who is an aeronautical engineer and the principal at Clear Skies Unlimited

This is an experimental gravity feed pellet stove that Alex English built, and hooked up for a demo.
It needs no electricity. The sprocket in the front is connected to a manually operated shaker grate.

This is another prototype without a shaker grate.

Notice the pyramid at the center of the mesh grate, with an air outlet in the center. It is designed to prevent ash clogging from the

Checking the combustion with a Testo. It was very clean, with very low CO.

Crispin presented results for the first time from very recent research, indicating significant error in how
emission analyzers  have calculated excess air ratios up to now, which induces corresponding errors in reported
emissions and efficiency calculations.

Wood is 40% oxygen, and since this is much higher compared to other fuels, and has no associated nitrogen, this is can be
a significant source of error when using conventional excess air calculations intended for other fuels at steady state.

Alex gave us a tour of his chip burning operation. This building is normally filled with fuel, and he is showing us the automated
fuel conveyor system that he developed and built. An auger has sensors that allow it to detect where the fuel pile is, and orient itself
to convey chips to a conveyor trough.

The PLC control system for the boiler.

The moving chain grate.

The boiler can be used to make biochar, by closing the primary air supply.

Four auger at the end are ganged in opposite directions, and feed the chips into the fire chamber.

A prototype biochar takeoff. The square duct contains an airtight auger, that drops off the biochar into a drum.

Biochar in a drum.

Bagged biochar.

One of the participants, Rebecca Vermeer,  is originally  from Indonesia and does stove work there. Here we have her clay stove
set up underneath an improvised hood using a steel drum. Note the hose from the Wohler sampler to the blue drum hood.

Rebecca and Nathan watch the real time data on her stove.

This page was last updated on October 4, 2016
This page was created on July 11, 2015

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