Method for measurement of water vapor concentration in woodstove stack gases

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


An instrument (differential flow water meter) to measure the water vapor concentration in stack gases was developed. This is intended for use as a standard reference as well as a practical method for the determination of the moisture content of stack gases from wood stoves. The accuracy of the instrument was tested by generating gas mixtures with known water vapor content and comparing the measured concentrations with the actual values.

Several tests were made under actual operating conditions, i.e., testing the water vapor concentration of stack gases from a wood stove under different firing conditions. The accuracy of the results was further checked by weighing the condensed catch and comparing the measured and predicted values. For each of the tests a wet and dry bulb technique was also used to measure the stack gas moisture content. A comparison of the results obtained using these two methods and the WHA (Wood Heating Alliance) standard method was also done. The results show that the wet and dry bulb method overpredicts the moisture content as compared to the differential flow water meter.