Archive for the ‘Biomass emissions and Regulations’ Category

The heating season is upon us. The project has had a lot of issues this summer and especially this fall. The flood that resulted from the hurricane was devastating. We lost the furnace at Brookside Hardware. It was totally submerged and all the electrical and electronic controls were ruined. We had been looking forward to resolving an issue with this furnace and getting a full season of data from the site.

I have been busy visiting the sites to make sure that all the units that remain are ready for the season.This points up a frustration with the equipment.As this equipment is developing I find that all parts are proprietary to each manufacture. The oil and gas heat industry standardized long ago. oil pumps, ignition transformers, blower belts, gas controls thermostats are all universal.This reminds me of the early days of the automobile. The only standard part in the early days of the internal combustion engine were spark plugs and that was because there were no US made spark plugs. They were all imported.That is why plugs had metric threads way before US auto makers embraced metric fasteners.

The adoption of biofuel heating devices will be hindered, especially in rural areas, by the manufactures dealer networks. I still find the dealers and the manufacturers more interested in sales than service. At this point I have not found any units that I could recommend as the sole heat source for a home or business.This is the Northeast people. Consumers can and will not be satisfied waiting days for repairs because the parts need to be ordered.
Will this situation improve? Sure, but the growing pains are holding adoption back. It is improving but fast enough for me.

More next month when this great weather inevitably ends.


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Event: Stronger Economies Together –  Tioga County SET program.  Recent flooding in our region has caused delays or relocation of services in scheduled meetings. The public was invited to attend the kick-off meeting on Thursday, September 22, to learn about this exciting new Southern Tier regional bioenergy initiative and hear, among others, two featured speakers from Cornell University.  The speakers were Michael P. Hoffmann, Director, CU Agricultural Experiment Station and Associate Dean, CU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Hilary Mayton, Biomass Specialist with CU Dept. of Plant Breeding and Genetics.  Speakers shared expertise and experiences in understanding bio-energy and innovative initiatives in NYS regions. People from Broome, Tioga and Chemung County Co-operative Extension staff, Southern Tier East Regional Development staff, Broome-Tioga BOCES staff, TC3 staff and several local farmers were in attendence.  Interests ranged from farm production to educational programs.

There are SET programs in two other “zones”, but they don’t concentrate on bioenergy.  The CNY regional is just using general guidelines and hasn’t set out a specific track.   Another regional in the North has some focus on local food and agriculture. Hopefully, those of you within those regions will take a bit of time to contact the administrative SET staff to make sure they are aware of the part biomass plays within agriculture and rural economic development.

Broome Biomass is working to help shape the Tioga SET program to educate bioenergy stakeholders. All upcoming meetings are scheduled for the 4th Thursday of the month. The next meeting will be in Candor, NY. There is no cost to attend the program.  For inquiries, contact Lois Kang, Sustainable Tioga Project Coordinator at sk479@cornell.edu.

Marketing: Governor Cuomo has released funds for people within the flood zone to upgrade appliances and furnaces. With cold weather already upon us, this would be a great time to talk multi-fuel capabilities. Not only will that promote agricultural biomass, but all forms of local heating supplies. We are anxiously waiting for the ecomonic impact spreadsheets to come back from the professor at Cornell. If anyone would like to see the overall spread sheet for NY, please feel free to contact me via email: doreen@broomebiomass.com.

Emissions: I would also like to thank Laura Colban for including myself, Jim Knight and John Bootle to be involved in a discussion with the BTEC about the support of future emissions and efficiency testing for commercial boilers. As for testing in NY, I decided to contact our regional Air Emissions Officer through the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Simply put, units less than 1 MMBtu input per hour would actually qualify as a residential scaled unit. If the unit is installed in an outdoor location, it must meet all standards for wood boilers (no matter what material is being combusted). New York requires that the same test methods as the EPA’s 28-OWHH compliance (this is voluntary testing, not federally mandated). NY states that the main concern is the Particulate Matter Emissions (PM). The requirement is to produce less than .4 lbs/MMBtu combusted. There are new revisions under way with the 28-OWHH that will require the particulate matter to be less than .32 lbs/MMBtu.

PLEASE make note that all furnaces or boilers purchased or installed after April 1st, 2011 must meet all of the installation and certification guidelines set forth by the DEC. If the unit is established inside an OCCUPIED building (not a shed or outbuilding), then the unit must comply to all federal, state and local building codes. Any unit that is not established within the above guidelines will be shut down and face heavy fines.

On commercial or industrial scaled units, the testing is to be completed via the Compliance Method Testing Part #227 (a search on the DEC website will provide the exact details). For units up to 10 MMBtu/hour input the PM limit is .70 lb/MMBtu and above the 10 MMBtu/hour input is .03 lb/MMBtu. Typically, bi-annual testing is required after the initial gateway testing for compliance certification. To learn more specific details, please contact your regional Air Quality Officer through the NYS DEC.

News: In Shik Lee from TC3 notified us at the SET meeting that the grant she filed for the college on Bioenergy promotion has been approved. I will be contacting her to see what she would like us to put together to contribute to the future development of the program.

Question: What is everyone’s opinion on having another ABIG meeting sometime around the middle of November? A phone conference to make it easier without the issue of travels during the months when the weather is unpredictable.

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