Ultra-low emission burners - A catalyst for innovation!
Author: Steve Pearce and Vanessa Scott
Source: Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd & Environment Canterbury (ECan)
Many towns and cities around the world suffer from poor air quality in winter, a major contributor being particulate emissions from domestic wood burners. New Zealand is no exception with a number of towns and cities regularly exceeding the New Zealand National Environmental Standard for Air Quality (NESAQ) for PM10 on multiple days each winter. Since the early 2000s Environment Canterbury (ECan) has proactively taken action to improve air quality in the Canterbury region. In 2013, in order to further improve winter air quality, ECan introduced a new pseudo real-life wood burner authorisation test method known as Canterbury Method One (CM1). Appliances passing the CM1 test method qualify as Ultra-low Emitting Enclosed Burners (ULEBs) and are the only wood log burning appliances allowed to be installed into houses within clean air zones and gazetted airsheds in Canterbury. This paper discusses the steps taken and progress made by ECan in reducing the impact of particulate emissions from domestic wood burners, reviews the rationale for developing ULEBs, compares the CM1 test method to the incumbent regulatory test standards, discusses how industry responded to the challenge set, and examines the design trends and the particulate emission performance of ULEBs authorised to date. Finally, the paper reviews how Canterbury’s Air Regional Plan (CARP) has enabled ULEB technology development and their impact on airsheds.