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  • Friday, January 28, 2022
  • ACEP Electric Thermal Storage Heating Study Featured in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

The excitement surrounding electric thermal heating technology is building, and so is the research! 

With a cup of coffee in hand, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner readers this past Tuesday had the opportunity to read a front-page article about an ACEP study that will place electric thermal storage heaters in the homes of two neighborhoods just outside of the North Pole city limits along with monitoring equipment to collect weather and air quality data. 

ACEP’s Dominique Pride said, “the goal of this three-year study is to collect data that will help us to determine whether these thermal storage heaters are helping to mitigate [particulate] levels and figure out how they affect home heating costs.” 

To participate, the 50 households in the study must heat with both wood and oil. In addition to installing thermal storage heaters, ACEP researchers hope to recruit homeowners who are willing to install weather stations and air quality sensors. The data collected will help researchers quantify the economic and environmental impacts of the proposed alternative heating technology.

Participants in the study won’t be asked to forgo their use of wood as fuel during the study period. ACEP would subsidize energy costs associated with the heater costs to reduce total costs. When asked if thermal heating stoves can stand alone as a sole source of heating, Pride said, “given the current cost of electricity, it doesn’t make sense to rely solely on electrical heaters.”

The study relies heavily on citizen participation, which makes for a total win-win scenario. Community members will engage in research to reduce their heating costs and environmental impacts, and researchers will gain the valuable data needed to determine the viability of this new heating method, which could potentially be scaled to other communities that would benefit from the technology.

To read the complete Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article, please click here!

If you have questions about the study, please contact Pride at djpride@alaska.edu

 

An electric thermal stove installed in a residential home in the Western Alaska community of Kongiganak. Stoves used for study will be considerably smaller is size. Photo by Amanda Byrd.