A new wood stove has been unveiled that meets the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2020 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) emissions tested and verified using cordwood. In May of this year, a New Zealand manufacturer broke the mould with the Eco Vision, which had an emission rate of 1.3 gph, smashing the EPA’s 2020 limit of 2.5 gph.
This Eco Vision stove features a 2.1 cu. ft. firebox that is rated at 77.2% overall efficiency with heat output sitting from 12,800 to 28,800 Btus. Low burn emissions are 0.74 gph, and low burn efficiency is 79.9% with burn times as long as 14 hours.
Ben Myren is behind the development of the Eco Vision the New Zealand based VcV 2.1 model that has been in the making for over four years. The EPA testing using cordwood was carried out at Dirigo Laboratories, Clackamas, Oregon. Eco Vision CEO Brian Gauld stated that “What is clear is that the EPA standards for cordwood are not only reasonable but are achievable,” which is of course great news for the environment and green enthusiasts alike. He went onto state “We hope this breakthrough will go a long way toward the industry coming on board with cordwood testing as a better way of making sure our wood stoves achieve the lowest emissions and the highest efficiencies possible when used in our homes.”
The patented technology behind the wood stove is equipped with a “VenturiControlled Valve” (VcV) that needs zero electricity or electronic controls. This is in contrast to bimetallic coils that have been used in wood stoves since the 1980s.
“Bimetallic coils are slow to react since they rely on heat that first has to go through the stove,” according to Myren. “The VcV technology interacts almost instantaneously with the stove to control the burn. The consumer can load the stove, close the primary air control to the lowburn setting, walk away and let the stove control itself. Even though the VcV is entirely mechanical, it has kind of an automatic feature, but no electronics are required. It is extremely user friendly, and takes some of the ‘idiot’ out of stove operation.”
Historically, wood stoves went through emissions testing utilising burning crib wood, designed solely for emission testing, however, the NSPS presently enables manufacturers to seek approval from the EPA to choose to have wood stoves tested with cordwood, which is very much like the typical fuel used by consumers. “Stoves testing with cordwood have to perform well even when cold.” “We think it’s obvious that EPA testing will transition from testing with cribs to testing with cordwood in the hope that stove testing with cordwood will perform better in the field than stoves tested with crib fuel,” says Myren, “so we thought it a smart move to do our certification testing now with cordwood.”
This is great news and the technology is thought to be released in the near future, with discussions for the technology to be used by existing manufacturer’s in North America currently ongoing.