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BEREAL Report Summary

Project ID: 606605
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 1 - BEREAL (Advanced Testing Methods for Better Real Life Performance of Biomass Room Heating Appliances)

Project Context and Objectives:
1 The goal
Existing test standards for pellet and firewood stoves have supported technology development tremendously in past decades. Due to today’s changing and more demanding requirements, however, there is the obvious need for refined testing procedures in order to differentiate between poor and excellent products. Such differentiation should take into account operating conditions as they are found in real life installations. Offering such information to customers will create substantial competitive advantages to innovative SMEs providing high quality products and may provide a reliable guideline for future standards or regulations.
The key objectives of the BeReal project are:
■ Development of advanced testing methods for room biomass heating appliances to better reflect real life operation
■ Development of a centralized standard evaluation tool for quality assurance purposes
■ Validation of methods at an early stage of development
■ Proof of real life impact of advanced products by field test demonstration
■ Proof of reliability and reproducibility of testing methods and evaluation tools through a round robin test
■ Development and introduction of a quality label based on the novel testing methods
These are accompanied by dissemination activities addressing standardization bodies, SME-members of participating SME-AGs and notified bodies, including training activities for the latter two groups. The introduction of the quality label addresses end users and general public.

Figure 1: General concept of the beReal project
Project Results:
2. Framework analysis
For designing a new test method with high relevance to "real life" operation it is essential to know the true operational conditions of the appliances. The main goal was therefore to identify the real user behaviour and also the quality of the applied fuels, which shall both be reflected by the new method as good as possible. But also market volumes and existing methods had to be assessed intensively.

Current test standards. A comprehensive literature research on current European and International test standards of firewood and pellet room heating appliances was done. The focus of the literature research was on comparison of different testing procedures and measurement methods applied in the respective standards. This work provided the basis for the discussion about potential test procedures and measurement methods for the new practical relevant beReal test method for firewood and pellet room heating appliances. Additionally, a comparative research was done on emission requirements given by national legislation or by different European quality labels.

Fuel quality assessment. The market situation of the fuels was summarized and fuel quantities and qualities were investigated by literature. An extensive wood pellet and firewood quality assessment was performed. For example 42 pellet samples were collected from the market and analysed for all relevant parameters. The results show, that the A1 Quality as defined in the ISO Standard for wood pellets 17225-2 do not sufficiently ensure that the content of aerosol forming elements (K, Na, Cl, S, Zn, Pb) is adequately limited if the selection of test fuels should only be based on these standard requirements.

Survey on user behaviour in Europe. To receive a comprehensive picture of the operational variation but also on what is typical user practise, a survey was performed. For the survey a set of stove-specific questions was developed and a multi-language online-survey was started. The answers of over 2000 users could thus be collected. The already finalised data evaluation allows a good view on today's behaviour and framework conditions situation of heating appliances operators. Answers were given on questions concerning for example the mode of ignition of a log wood stove, number of batches, frequency of heating, number of wood logs recharged, and many others.

Real life operation analysis. Apart from the survey the real life performance was also directly assessed in an extensive field measurement campaign. These field measurements were performed should as well serve as basis for the development of the real life method. The appliances monitored comprised 20 wood log room heaters and 9 pellet room heaters. For pellet room heaters it became apparent that start-stop-operation behaviour, load changes and a high ratio of part load operation occurred at the installations. Basic assumptions in terms of considering only a steady state operation or the excluding of the ignition phase must therefore strongly be questioned. General findings for log wood stoves comprised a mean number of approximately 4 batches per heating cycle but with high deviations in the range of 1 to 14 batches. Due to this low number of batches it is essential to consider the ignition batch within a series of several batches in a close to real-life test operation.

Figure 2: Left + Middle: Measurement equipment installed at a wood log room heater; Right. Exemplary behaviour of the course of flue gas temperature at a pellet room heater
Potential Impact:
3. Expected final results and their potential impacts and use
The BeReal project generates basically the following results:
■ Advanced test methods better reflecting real life performance of biomass room heating appliances
■ Common web-based measurement data analysis and evaluation tool
■ Labelling schemes allowing to differentiate biomass room heating appliances according to their real life performance
These results (especially the labelling scheme) in the BeReal project are expected to be available for exploitation in many European countries immediately after the project. The label(s) are either planned to be granted before the project will end or the measurements will be available on which the label can be issued to the manufacturers of the tested stoves.
At EU level approximately 66 million products (biomass based room heating appliances) are installed. This means that on the average one biomass room heating appliance is installed in every third domestic home in Europe. It already throws light on the huge potential for the exploitation of BeReal project results.
Additionally, the project is expected to provide a strong and profound knowledge platform to support EU efforts for the quality labelling of energy using products. The developed labelling scheme might also be applied (or incorporated) as an EU label somewhere in future.

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Hans Hartmann, (Head of Department)
Tel.: +49 9421300112
Fax: +49 9421300211
Record Number: 199381 / Last updated on: 2017-06-21
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