NEW CHIP-BASED HOME HEATING STOVE PROTOTYPE CREATED
THE EQUIPMENT WAS DEVELOPED BY THE “KIPUS” CENTER FOR ENGINEERING SYSTEMS, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE MACRO-DEPARTMENT, AS A LOW POLLUTANT-EMISSIONS HEATING ALTERNATIVE.
July 11, 2017
Researchers from our Academic Institution developed a chip-based stove prototype within the framework of a Conincyt’s Fondef IDeA project, an Engineering Macro-Department initiative carried out jointly with Amesti Company and the German Institute for Biomass Research.
This innovation came from the need to achieve solutions to the problem of air pollution produced by the use firewood for heating, a problem that affects the quality of life of the population in the cities of the central and southern zone of Chile. The cause is the saturation of particulate matter, which led authorities to regulate the use of firewood through atmospheric decontamination plans.
The director of the Kipus Center for Engineering Systems, Carlos Torres, commented that there was a great potential in chips "because Chile produces a surplus of this product, which also happens in Brazil, Colombia and Canada, where there is an international trade of this biomass fuel, whose cost is 15 pesos per kilowatt hour." When comparing with firewood, he added that "in the same conditions this reaches a value of 30 or 35 pesos and the pellet reaches a value of 45 pesos, which makes chips the most economical alternative."
To produce the prototype, the combustion was automated in a similar way as for a pellet stove, which prevents turning on the device in the wrong as a way to have better emissions.
An automatic upwelling feed system was also included, which supplies the chips from the bottom of the fuel stack, which allows drying and preheating the material before it is combusted, generating a lower amount of particulate material.
Another component is the use of a control system with a catalytic converter and a lambda probe, similar to the systems in cars that measure the oxygen level of the exhaust fumes of the stove, which controls the air access, minimizing particulate matter emissions.
In addition, the prototype was submitted to an external measurement at the Cerylab laboratory in Concepción, which is certified to perform this type of analysis.
The director of the Engineering Macro-Department of UTALCA, Carlos Toledo, explained that, "the problem of air pollution is the same from the Maule Region to the south, so that, to the extent that the emission of particles is minimized, it benefits the quality of the atmosphere and of people's health. Our idea as Macro-Department is to develop innovations that can be transferred to the market."
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