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[en] Highlights: ► Performance evaluation of a pellet boiler operated with different agricultural fuels. ► Agricultural fuels could be burn in the tested boiler for a certain period of time. ► All the fuels (except straw and Sorghum) satisfied the European legal requirements. ► Boilers for burning agricultural fuels should have a flexible control system. - Abstract: The increasing demand for woody biomass increases the price of this limited resource, motivating the growing interest in using woody materials of lower quality as well as non-woody biomass fuels for heat production in Europe. The challenges in using non-woody biomass as fuels are related to the variability of the chemical composition and in certain fuel properties that may induce problems during combustion. The objective of this work has been to evaluate the technical and environmental performance of a 15 kW pellet boiler when operated with different pelletized biomass fuels, namely straw (Triticum aestivum), Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus), maize (Zea mays), wheat bran, vineyard pruning (from Vitis vinifera), hay, Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and wood (from Picea abies) with 5% rye flour. The gaseous and dust emissions as well as the boiler efficiency were investigated and compared with the legal requirements defined in the FprEN 303-5 (final draft of the European standard 303-5). It was found that the boiler control should be improved to better adapt the combustion conditions to the different properties of the agricultural fuels. Additionally, there is a need for a frequent cleaning of the heat exchangers in boilers operated with agricultural fuels to avoid efficiency drops after short term operation. All the agricultural fuels satisfied the legal requirements defined in the FprEN 303-5, with the exception of dust emissions during combustion of straw and Sorghum. Miscanthus and vineyard pruning were the best fuels tested showing comparable emission values to wood combustion
[en] Highlights: • Laboratory tests on two commercially available pellet boilers. • Steady state and a dynamic load cycle tests. • Pellet boiler model calibration based on data registered in stationary operation. • Boiler model validation with reference to both stationary and dynamic operation. • Validated model suitable for coupled simulation of building and heating system. - Abstract: Nowadays dynamic building simulation is an essential tool for the design of heating systems for residential buildings. The simulation of buildings heated by biomass systems, first of all needs detailed boiler models, capable of simulating the boiler both as a stand-alone appliance and as a system component. This paper presents the calibration and validation of a boiler model by means of laboratory tests. The chosen model, i.e. TRNSYS “Type 869”, has been validated for two commercially available pellet boilers of 6 and 12 kW nominal capacities. Two test methods have been applied: the first is a steady state test at nominal load and the second is a load cycle test including stationary operation at different loads as well as transient operation. The load cycle test is representative of the boiler operation in the field and characterises the boiler’s stationary and dynamic behaviour. The model had been calibrated based on laboratory data registered during stationary operation at different loads and afterwards it was validated by simulating both the stationary and the dynamic tests. Selected parameters for the validation were the heat transfer rates to water and the water temperature profiles inside the boiler and at the boiler outlet. Modelling results showed better agreement with experimental data during stationary operation rather than during dynamic operation. Heat transfer rates to water were predicted with a maximum deviation of 10% during the stationary operation, and a maximum deviation of 30% during the dynamic load cycle. However, for both operational regimes the fuel consumption was predicted within a 10% deviation from the experimental values
[en] Highlights: • BaP solely sampled on quartz fibre filter after dilution. • Start- and stop-phase emission critical for total BaP emissions of automatic wood boilers. • Higher EC emissions indicate higher probability of BaP emissions. • Automatic boilers have potentially lowest BaP emission among wood heating furnaces. - Abstract: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are emitted during incomplete combustion of organic materials and are particularly harmful to human health. As a representative of PAHs, Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is restricted by the European Union to an annual average value of 1 ng m−3 in ambient air. This threshold is significantly exceeded during the heating season in various regions. Residential wood combustion furnaces are considered to be a major source for BaP pollution. In this research, a compact sampling method for BaP measurements was validated. Afterwards, the method was used to assess emissions from modern automatic wood boilers, in order to obtain a detailed knowledge of BaP emissions from residential wood combustion furnaces. It was demonstrated that, for a wide range of BaP concentrations, sampling from the hot flue gas of residential wood combustors can be carried out effectively over a simple quartz filter, after proper dilution with cold purified air. Highest BaP emissions from the investigated boilers occurred during start, with a mean concentration value of 6.3 μg m-3. All values refer to standard conditions (273.15 °C, 100 kPa) and to an O2 volume fraction of 13% in the dry flue gas. The lowest concentrations occurred during full load operation (mean value 73 ng m-3 at STP). It was found that, amongst all flue gas compounds analysed, elemental carbon is the parameter most closely related to BaP. This work demonstrates, at optimal operating conditions, modern automatic wood boilers have potentially lowest BaP emission concentrations amongst residential wood combustion furnaces.