Solid Fuel Lab

Solid Fuel Heater Performance Testing

Spectrum Laboratories test all forms of domestic solid fuel wood stoves, multifuel stoves and coal burning stoves to ensure that they meet the performance and safety standards required by law.

Spectrum Lab can test with both softwood fuel for the New Zealand market and the denser hardwoods required in the Australian market.

Spectrum Laboratories has the resources and the expertise to provide for both markets and can offer problem solving solutions for Spectrums customers.

 



Output Efficiency - Batch Loaded Heater - AS/NZS4012

The solid fuel test centre comprises a high performance calorimeter room designed and calibrated to allow accurate measurement of heat transferred to the room.

Three burn cycles are conducted at high, medium and low settings to the conditions prescribed in the standard. The efficiency is then calculated as an average of this data.

As of 2014; the power output of wetbacks is now added into the overall output efficiency.

 


Particulate Emissions - Batch Loaded Heater - AS/NZS4013

A flue gas dilution tunnel and sample train for determining total particulate emissions is used for this standard.

A sample of the flue gas discharged from the appliance mixed with cooler ambient air is drawn through a filtration sample train. The emissions collected on the filters are accurately weighed and an emission factor calculated against the mass of fuel consumed.

The emission factor is defined as the average of the particulate weight collected at the high, medium and low burn rates. These emissions are a combination of solids and condensable.

 



Particulate Emissions - Pellet Heater - AS/NZS4886

This standard incorporates the use of the same flue gas dilution tunnel and sample train used to determine the batch loaded particulate emissions.

The emission factor is defined by the particulate weight collected verses the total fuel consumed. These emissions are a combination of solids and condensable.


Output Efficiency - Pellet Heater - AS/NZS5078

The same high performance calorimeter room is used to accurately measure the heat transferred to the room.

When testing the heater is operated for several hours at a steady state to establish the output and fuel burn rates, this is used to calculate the efficiency.


Ultra Low Efficiency and Emissions Testing (ULEB)

This real world  test method is used to enable entry into the Christchurch market for new houses and some zones within the air shed, this method uses fuel typically used in Christchurch including bark and knotted wood to calculates both efficiency and emissions from a cold start until the fire cools.

At the time this information was published the requirement to comply was greater than 65 % and below 0.5 g/kg. Unlike the AS/NZS standards the Canterbury Method (CM1) offers some flexibility to allow for the testing of new heater designs.

 


New Zealand Home Heating Maximum Output Testing (NZHHA)

This method drafted for the New Zealand Home Heating Association (NZHHA) offers importers and manufactures a method to establish the maximum power specification of their respective heaters.


Solid Fuel Heater Safety Testing

The minimum safe installation clearances to heat sensitive material must be stated in all solid fuel appliance instructions supplied by the manufacturers.


Safe Clearance – Freestanding - AS/NZS2918 (Appendix B)

Testing is conducted in a purpose built corner rig that simulates the walls, floor and ceiling of a house.

Each surface is covered in an array of temperature sensitive thermocouples; these are used to monitor the precise temperature of the surfaces.

Each fire is operated at its maximum capacity as directed by the standard and the minimum safe clearance distances are established to ensure the dwelling and its occupants are safe.

 



Safe Clearance – Inbuilt - AS/NZS2918 (Appendix B)

Testing is conducted by building a simulated wall and installing the heater within. Thermocouples are employed to monitor the temperature of any surface that contacts the heater or will otherwise cause a potential risk.
The heater is operated at its maximum capacity and the minimum safe clearance distances.


Safe Clearance – Insert - AS/NZS2918 (Appendix E)

A specially build masonry chimney is used with strategically placed thermocouples to monitor the temperatures of flammable materials.
This test will establish if a heater can be inserted into a existing chimney, there are no clearance distances as such.

 


Safe Clearance – Pellet

There is currently no recognised AS/NZS standard covering the safety testing of pellet heaters. Ring Spectrum Laboratories for advice on the latest safety requirements for pellet fires.


Solid Fuel Heater Safety Testing

The minimum safe installation clearances to heat sensitive material must be stated in all solid fuel appliance instructions supplied by the manufacturers.



Heater Development


Spectrum Lab offers its facility for preliminary R&D testing; our experienced engineers can offer feedback and suggestions for design changes if requested to improve heater performance.
Customers are welcome to work on site alongside our technicians (who will be operating the test facility) to view firsthand how their heaters are performing.

All research data would be made available for your use and to assist with the design development. Spectrum Laboratories is continually developing its software to record more data to help with clients R&D.

Clients are not permitted to be onsite due to our accreditation stipulations while formal testing is conducted.

 


The following are a collection of important often difficult to find resources found on the internet.

These are offered freely to assist in your understanding of the various aspects of testing and ongoing product compliance.

Solid fuel burner basics

http://www.energywise.govt.nz/products-and-appliances/heating/wood-burners

Authorised solid fuel burners (MFE)

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/air/home-heating-and-authorised-wood-burners/burners

Authorised solid fuel burners (ChCh)

http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/pages/authorised-solid-fuel-burners.aspx

 

 



Unit 1/25 Highbrook Drive, East Tamaki, Auckland

(09) 271 1616