Heat-powered Ecofan reduces home heating costs
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, October 8, 2010
Ecofan, a heat-powered fan designed to circulate warm air generated by residential wood and gas stoves, can save consumers money. The small fan helps reduce costs because less fuel is required to keep room temperatures at a comfortable level.
According to Elliott Good, sales and marketing manager at manufacturer Caframo Limited, Ecofan works when thermoelectric technology converts heat to electricity. The generated electricity propels the fan blades, circulating warm air generated by the stove without noise. No electrical outlet or batteries are needed. "Not only does Ecofan save money, but it does not consume energy during operation," Good said.
Caframo is partnering with the University of Waterloo to test the cost savings experienced when Ecofan is used in conjunction with a wood stove. "Our customers have told us they use less fuel in their stoves because of Ecofan," Good said. "We want to quantify the savings for our customers."
To test the extent of the fuel savings, Caframo has constructed a $100,000 test facility, processes within their existing building and has invited thermodynamics professors from the University of Waterloo's mechanical engineering department to audit, verify and validate the testing. The room is set up similar to a living room with a wood stove.
The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. A thermoelectric device creates a voltage when there is a different temperature on each side.
Fifty-four temperature sensors are strategically located throughout the test facility to measure both surface and air temperatures during the duration of each test burn. The testing will compare wood fuel consumption between a wood stove operated under the same conditions with and without Ecofan. Caframo and the University of Waterloo will co-author a technical paper summarizing the test results to be published this year.
Ecofan retails for $99.99-$199.99 (USD) and is available in the U.S. and Canada through major retailers such as Ace, Do it Best, Cabela's, The Home Depot and Menards as well as independent hearth dealers. For more information visit: http://www.caframo.com/hearth/hearth_products.php
Founded in 1955, Caframo manufactures innovative fans and heaters for a variety of retail markets. Located on the shores of Georgian Bay in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada, Caframo is a privately owned company focused on innovation and consumer comfort. Other Caframo products include the original Ecofan 800, the Ecofan Air Plus 802 and the True North AC Heater.