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Development of highly-efficient low-emission log wood-fired closed fireplace INSERts thanks to an automated elecTRONIC control system

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INSERTRONIC (Development of highly-efficient low-emission log wood-fired closed fireplace INSERts thanks to an automated elecTRONIC control system)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-01-31

INSERTRONIC project aims to develop a new closed fireplace insert technology. With this technology RIKA, one of the European market leaders regarding log wood and pellet stoves, will distinguish itself from competing products by significantly reduced emissions, increased efficiency as well as increased user comfort, RIKA will become a complete supplier for wood based room heaters. Thereby, RIKA aims at strengthening its position as European technology leader as well as to double its turnover until 2022

The technical concept of the INSERTRONIC, which builds on RIKA’s innovative log wood stove technology, will be improved. The new technology shall be developed, tested and optimised in order to pass type testing at project end. A number of innovations (world-wide novelties for fireplace inserts) shall be implemented, of which the most important are
(i) the utilisation of novel insulation materials as well as materials with catalytic coatings for emission reduction,
(ii) the application of modern computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tools for process design and optimisation,
(iii) the implementation of an automated control and ignition system as well as
(iv) the development of a flexible insertion frame and modular panelling system which provide a high flexibility regarding installation and outer appearance.

Techno-economic analyses in order to keep the final product costs at a competitive level as well as dissemination, communication and commercialisation measures shall ensure a quick market introduction after project end.

Since the European closed fireplace insert market amounts to about 850,000 units/year, the new technology will have a significant impact on a more efficient utilisation of biomass resources as well as a reduction of CO2 emissions (substitution of fossil fuels) and therefore will be of great relevance to the Work Programme.

INSERTRONIC, an innovative closed fireplace insert log wood combustion technology ensuring unrivaled low gaseous emissions, highest thermal efficiency and unique usability comfort has been developed within INSERTRONIC project.
In face of absolutely challenging technical limits all objectives have been achieved entirely satisfying.
Beside the optimised combustion, the clean window which guarantees an undisturbed view at the flame during all operation phases in combination with the steady and voluminous flame pattern as well as the automated process control system including an automated remotely controlled ignition system in order to minimise user induced errors and increase the thermal efficiency are the most visible improvements.
The lightweight flexible insertion frame (aluminium profiles) and modular panelling system (different materials and surfaces), guarantees an easily and quickly integration of the fireplace insert in different masonry framework conditions and into different room concepts, even as a freestanding system.
Beside these technical novelties all preparations for industrialization as well as commercialisation have been done.
In addition to the “one-window” fireplace insert version developed within this project a “two(corner)-window” fireplace insert version, of INSERTRONIC technology, will be launched by end of 2018.
Additional versions, for example a “three-window” and a “two-door-opposite-window” fireplace insert version, will follow in 2019.
Work develop till the moment has been centered in:

- Development of an optimized 3d model of the technology and its components based on CFD simulations. Development of a test stand 3d model of the technology. Integration of the test stand 3d model into the CFD simulations.

- Preparation of construction drawings of the first prototype. Manufacturing of 2 prototypes and 2 test stands. Both prototypes and test stands have been taken into operation. One at the subcontractors test laboratory in Graz (BIOS) and one at the RIKA test laboratory in Micheldorf.

- A deep market research concerning potential surrounding materials has been done by the subcontrator KISKA. With obtained results the definition of selection criteria of surrounding materials have been set. First ideations of the surrounding (outer appearance) based on the 3d model of the technology have been proposed.

- A project website has been launched to promote and disseminate the project

- Comprehensive test runs with the first prototypes and test stands have been performed and evaluated at the BIOS test laboratory in Graz and at the RIKA test laboratory in Micheldorf.

- Identification of weak points of the first prototype and verification of improvement measures based on CFD simulations to further optimize the system.

- Construction drawings of the second prototype have been prepared and have been used to manufacture 2 prototypes and 2 test stands. Both prototypes and test stands have been taken into operation. One at the subcontractor BIOS test laboratory in Graz and one at the RIKA test laboratory in Micheldorf.

- Final long-term test runs and CFD simulations have been done and optimization measures have been worked out and implemented in the final product design.

- Construction drawings of the final design of the flexible insertion frame and modular panelling system have been prepared and 10 field test units have been produced.

- The bill of materials and structure of purchasing including requirements for suppliers have been defined.

- Preparation of installation and operation manuals as well as product folders and marketing materials.

- Preparation of public relation and marketing materials and final plan for market launch, exploitation and dissemination.
At the moment a big discussion about burn bans for older or worse fireplace insert systems in lots of cities all over Europe, especially in areas of high population density, is in progress.

INSERTRONIC, the innovative closed fireplace insert log wood combustion technology, will have deep impact on the whole fireplace insert log wood sector because potential burn bans will not concern the new combustion technology.

The enhanced ease and comfort of operation due to the automated combustion control and ignition system minimises user induced errors and guarantees constant operating conditions with gaseous emissions well below and thermal efficiency well beyond European emission and efficiency limits.

The unrivaled low gaseous emissions and the highest thermal efficiency allows end-customers to operate without a need for additional particulate matter emission reduction measures, even if legislation turns more restrictive in future.
Initial prototype operation at the RIKA test laboratory
Lots of different design ideations have been sketched up
Construction drawings from every part of the test stand and the insert are available
Prototype installed (inserted) in the test stand
CFD simulations: basic 3d model validation + subsequent elimination of weak points + optimization