Residential heating research partnerships
Gas fireplaces have become popular features in new and renovated homes in Canada. This success may be attributed to the fact that they are easier to use, cleaner and more efficient than their traditional wood-burning counterparts. However, the design of gas fireplaces must address significant issues due to the balance that needs to be reached between providing heat to the home efficiently, displaying visually appealing flames and emitting low atmospheric pollutants. Gas fireplaces aim at providing two utilities to the customer, i) the heating value that is delivered to the enclosed space and ii) its aesthetics through the overall design of the fireplace and the luminous flame generated during the combustion process, without any compromise for safety, energy efficiency and atmospheric pollution.
We partnered with Wolf Steel Limited, parent company of the Napoleon brand to investigate the complex relationships between the burner geometry and operation variables and their resulting impact on heating value, flame appearance and atmospheric emissions. We applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to provide detailed information at small turnaround times with much lower costs compared to experimental studies. Different variables were varied such as the primary air temperature, fuel (natural gas and propane), and burner port size and loading. The predictions focused on temperature and chemical species concentration inside and at the exit of fireplace enclosure and pressure loss across the length of the burner and the fireplace. Our simulations reproduced accurately the visual appearance of the flame observed in the selected fire place and provided additional information on flow/mixing distribution inside the fire place.
Partners: Wolf Steel Ltd, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Thank you to our residential heating research partners:
These case studies are only several of our projects. There are many more types of opportunities and case studies. If you'd like to discuss partnering or sponsoring a research project in Turbulent Combustion Modeling or would like more details: