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BTEC releases draft on US biomass boiler efficiency test method

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) has announced its release of the first American test method for the thermal efficiency of commercial-sized biomass boilers. This includes boilers that use solid biomass, including pellets, woodchips, briquettes, and cordwood. The draft standard will now be validated through laboratory testing by an EPA-accredited third-party testing laboratory.

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC),  a US trade association, has announced its release of the first American test method for the thermal efficiency of commercial-sized biomass boilers. This includes boilers that use solid biomass, including pellets, woodchips, briquettes, and firewood as fuel. The draft standard will now be validated through laboratory testing by an EPA-accredited third-party testing laboratory.

BTEC will utilise its industry experience in media and stakeholder outreach to promote the efficiency testing procedure beyond the biomass industry to the heating and cooling industry, government officials, testing laboratories, consumers, and businesses. The test method will facilitate the evaluation of the benefits of properly sizing biomass boilers, including innovative methods for multiple-boiler systems, and will closely examine boiler performance at partial load points.

Work on the project is supported by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment), a non-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of working forests and forest-reliant communities in the US, the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, a non-profit organisation that invests in the deployment of clean energy technologies throughout the West Penn Power service region in Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

Once testing by an accredited laboratory is completed, and recommended changes to the test method are considered, the efficiency test procedure will be published as a voluntary industry document and continue to be made publicly available. The group will subsequently pursue formal acceptance of the protocol by an accredited national standards organisation.

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