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Optimization of a Small Scale Pellet Boiler

[+] Author Affiliations
José Carlos Teixeira, Rui Ferreira, Manuel Eduardo Ferreira

University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

Paper No. IMECE2010-39263, pp. 1285-1291; 7 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Environmental concerns and the drive to reduce the dependence on petroleum based fuels brought the use of renewable energies to the forefront. Biomass appears as a very interesting option for direct conversion into heat. In this context, densified forms of biomass such as pellets are of great relevance because of their easy of use, high efficiency and low emissions. Expected trends in the biomass market suggest that equipments should operate over a wide range of thermal loads and with fuels derived from lower quality raw materials; simultaneously, a high efficiency and low emissions are taken for granted. Currently, biomass domestic boilers prove to be very sensitive to fuel characteristics and load conditions. This work reports on the development of a 15 kW net pellet boiler. A prototype was built that enables the independent control of the air supply into various regions of the combustion chamber and an accurate supply of fuel. The test rig also includes: boiler and flue gases extraction system; feeding system; heat dissipation system; flue gas analyzer; data acquisition system and all sensors. In order to optimize the combustion conditions, pollutant emissions and their relation with feeding conditions, primary and secondary air flow rate and excess of air was analyzed. The results suggest that this burner is a promising for implementation in domestic boilers. The advantages are: CO emissions well below those observed in similar equipments and the capacity to maintain the emissions level constant under different loading conditions.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Boilers , Optimization



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