All posts by NORAweb


Cleaner heating oil coming to the Northeast

From PoliticoPro, By Amy R. Sisk,  The calendar may say August, but several Northeastern states are already making big decisions about how residents will heat their homes this winter.

As of July 1, heating oil suppliers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont must comply with new state rules to reduce the amount of sulfur in their product. Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, New York state and Pennsylvania are implementing similar rules.

For millions of homeowners and businesses, the change means their heating systems will emit less sulfur dioxide, which contributes to acid rain and haze. They will also burn through less fuel, and their furnaces will be able to go longer between maintenance visits, according to industry experts, who say any increase in costs should be negligible.

But the switch could prove to be a boon to the heating oil industry, which has lost market share as cleaner fuels like natural gas gain popularity. Continue reading


NORA early R&D priorities released

See entire list of priorities here.

[ezcol_1half]Brookhaven National Laboratoy (BNL), long a place of research and innovation, was the ideal location for the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) to kick-off a new era of research and development (R&D). NORA held its first R&D Conference/Workshop since congressional re-authorization at the renowned venue on June 3–4.

The current NORA statute requires NORA to allocate no less than 30% of its annual budget ($3-4 million per annum, $15-$20 -million over five years) to R&D of new oilheat products, systems and solutions to benefit the seven million homes and businesses using heating oil for space heating and hot water. How to best spend this money was the focal point of the event.

Research Topic Prioritization

  1. Biofuels/Bioheat® fuel received the most votes from participants (27%), with the top priorities within Biofuels/Bioheat® fuel scoring a tie between Technical/Climate Change Information Getting to State Energy Offices/stakeholders (25%) and Addressing
  2. Biofuels/Bioheat® fuel myths with Technical Data Sheets and Handouts for Stakeholders.
  3. Other research topics getting top consideration were Field Demonstration/ Documentation (19%); Low Cost/High Efficiency
  4. Appliances (18%); Controls & Emerging Technologies (14%); Combustion/ Advanced Burners (11%); and Fuel Quality (11%).
[/ezcol_1half][ezcol_1half_end]NORA Research Management
The next step of the Research Committee is to issue a Program Opportunity Notice (PON) for soliciting projects. The first NORA PON will be issued in September 2014. There will also be an Annual Research Conference; the time and place have yet to be determined.

Research & Development funds will be allocated based upon careful review by the NORA Executive Board, Board of Directors and the Research & Development Committee.

The Conference/Workshop’s intent was to continue the process of moving oilheating technology forward and to provide maximum benefit for U.S. oilheat consumers.

Top Projects with over five Percent of total votes

  1. Develop Powerful Fuel Use Tracking/Savings Tools…simple to use with wide adoption goal 8%
  2. Combustion Monitoring 7%
  3. B-100 Burner 6%
  4. Develop virtual “Smart Meter” Technology for Instant Results & More Efficient Deliveries 6%
  5. Technical/Climate Change Info to State Energy Offices/Stakeholders 5%
  6. Address the Myths with: Technical Data Sheets/Handouts to:Real Estate Community, AHJs (Authority Having Jurisdiction:Fire Marshals, Inspectors, etc.), Insurance Companies, Customers, Blenders, Students, Environmental Groups 5%
  7. Novel Atomization Technical Feasibility 5%