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BTEC joins industry partners for wood-fired boilers study

September 12, 2013, Greenville, SC - The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) and the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) are collaborating with the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) to fund development of the first-ever efficiency testing standards for commercial biomass boilers in the U.S.


September 12, 2013
By BTEC

September 12, 2013, Greenville, SC – The U.S. Endowment for
Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) and the West Penn Power Sustainable
Energy Fund (WPPSEF) are collaborating with the Biomass Thermal Energy Council
(BTEC) to fund development of the first-ever efficiency testing standards for
commercial biomass boilers in the U.S. 

"As informed consumers it is vitally important that we know how
to compare one product against another to determine relative value," says
Endowment President Carlton Owen. "The standards that result from this
project will give those who want to consider biomass commercial boilers, the
same types of information that our European counterparts already have or the
types of labels that allow a buyer to compare one type of heat pump for
instance to another under the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
system." 

"In many parts of North America, modern biomass heating systems
compare favorably in terms of cost, efficiency, emissions, and other criteria,
with coal-, oil-, or other fuel-systems," says Joseph Seymour, Executive
Director of BTEC. "The lack of standardized efficiency standards
developed by an independent third-party leave a gap that has disadvantaged the
market expansion of biomass-fired systems."

Joel Morrison, Executive Director of the WPPSEF, notes "We are
especially pleased to be teaming up with the Endowment and BTEC to advance this
important work. If we are to meet society's growing energy needs we must have
sound information upon which to base decisions regarding various fuels as well
as conversion technologies." 

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Funding by the Endowment, WPPSEF, and BTEC members will be combined to
support the year-long project that should be completed by fall 2014. Endowment
funding in part comes through its Wood-to-Energy/Woody Biomass Joint Venture
with the USDA Forest Service.

BTEC's member-led Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee will
direct the initial drafting of the efficiency test protocol with the assistance
of an independent standards consultant. In late 2013 and early 2014, BTEC will
invite feedback on the draft protocol at regional Scoping Meetings, tentatively
planned for the eastern-, mid-western-, and western-U.S. Feedback from
those sessions will be considered in a revised draft that will undergo a
national call-for-comments in spring 2014.   

"We are grateful for supporters like the Endowment and WPPSEF
that have recognized the impact of such an efficiency measure on the wider use
of renewable biomass," said Seymour. 

Information,
participation details, and updates on the protocol's development are available
on the BTEC website: biomassthermal.org/programs/efficiency_standard.asp

 


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