Biomass Boiler Performance Evaluation Study

Biomass Boiler Performance Evaluation Study

Project Description:  This project seeks to examine performance of wood-fired hydronic boiler systems in three different Alaskan communities.  Performance of the boilers has been monitored using an energy metering system comprised of an inline flow meter, and two temperature sensors, one on the hot water supply side and the other on the return side. By tracking the water flow rate and the temperature at both sides, the amount of heat input to the water can be obtained. By correlating this against wood consumption and wood moisture content, a rough measure of boiler efficiency may be obtained.  Additionally, an emissions probe will be brought to each site during an extremely cold time and during a moderately cold time.  During these visits, stack emissions will be measured.

Project Update:  Daisy Huang traveled to the Village of Gulkana in late December to collect boiler data from the installed BTU meter. (Gulkana is an Ahtna Athabascan village located in the Copper Valley near Glenallen.  The boiler system ACEP is monitoring is comprised of two series-connected Garn boilers, each rated at 425,000 Btu/hr.  They both burn cordwood harvested from local lands.)

Project Lead:  Daisy Huang, PhD (

Project Funding:  Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)

Project Research Partners:  City of Tanana, Gulkana Village Council, Delta Greely School District


Photo Caption:  ACEP Research Engineer, Daisy Huang, downloads temperature data from her installed BTU meters in Gulkana.

Photo courtesy of D. Huang, ACEP/UAF.