Pellet Stove Burn Efficiency

Article on Pellet stoves: Wood Pellet System Provides Power for Test Home

A pellet stove article that can be used for pellet stove comparisons with other heating sources. It comes as project description of a state energy office project dealing with pellet stove burn efficiency, other energy efficiency and renewable energy. The State Energy Program (SEP) originally published it in its bimonthly newsletter Conservation Update.

August 1998

A locally produced renewable energy resource will provide all the electricity for an Idaho home as part of a demonstration project co-funded by the Energy Division. A generator fueled by gases produced by a wood pellet-burning gasifier will provide electricity for the 3,400-square-foot home. As part of the project, the Energy Division contributed a $25,000 grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant was awarded to a Prosser, Washington, bioenergy developer who built and installed the special power generation system.

The Energy Division will oversee the project during the test period, and a mechanical engineering professor with the University of Idaho will monitor the generator's emissions. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the reliability, feasibility, and economic value of a residential-scale gasifier. These types of gasifier-generation systems have great potential for remote areas that need an environmentally friendly way to produce electricity.

The test home includes a second story and basement. Typically, a home of this size uses 1,300-1,400 kilowatt hours of electricity per month. Although the gasifier will provide all the power for the home, regular electrical service will be available in case of an emergency. The technical name for the system is a biomass-fueled gasification electric generation system. The process turns organic biomass products such as wood pellets into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases, which are then used to power an electrical generator.

The pellets start at the top of a gasifier column, move down through the column, and burn at temperatures up to 2,550 degrees F. The carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases produced in the process go to the generator where they are mixed with oxygen and become the fuel to run the generator and produce the electricity. The only byproduct of the process is activated charcoal, which remains after the gasification process is completed.

We will add more information specifically on pellet stove burn efficiency as it becomes available.

A big thank you to the US Department of Energy for their contribution for this pellet stove burn efficiency information.