Investigation of Real Life Operation of Biomass Room Heating Appliance

Wood combustion is the main renewable heating source for European households and responsible for a large portion of the particle matter in the atmosphere. Firewood operated small-scale residential wood combustion units such as firewood stoves and tiled stoves are the most widespread wood combustion appliances in households.

Next to purely technological reasons (i.e. type and age of appliance) Investigation of real life operation of biomassand installation conditions (i.e. natural draft of chimney system), user behavior which includes all influences caused by the user during operation has a considerable effect on the combustion performance of room heating appliances.

User behavior includes fuel related factors, different ways to ignite the fire, combustion air settings, as well as frequency and intensity of use. The objective of this work is to investigate user behavior by means of a survey. The survey aims to provide an overview as to how room heating appliances in European countries are used in real life. We performed a 28 question, multi-lingual online survey over a 14-week period. 1980 responses from 16 European countries were received. Most respondents are from Italy (35%), Germany (34%), Austria (12%) and Sweden (11%). Results were separated by heating appliance type (firewood stove, tiled stove, cooker and other firewood stove), and by country.

The results show a unique and detailed glimpse as to how room heating appliances are used in real life. They include the ignition procedure including used fire starters, point of fuel recharging, combustion air regulation and frequency of use. Results related to the fuel used (i.e. type of fuel, fuel conditions) are given in this paper, too. The results are crucial for further research and complement existing knowledge about the effects of the individual user and fuel related parameters on emissions and efficiency of room heating appliances.


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