30Jun/20

NORA & Eurofuel host online conference on the future of liquid fuels

For the first time ever, the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) and Eurofuel (European Heating Oil Association) will host a virtual conference on liquid heating fuels in a carbon constrained world. Manufacturers of heating equipment, liquid fuels now in the market and potential fuels of the future will share their ideas and what steps they are taking to be ready for this future.



Moritz Bellingen, Chairman of Eurofuel, stated “For many years, individuals from the United States have traveled to Europe to participate in our meetings, and I have traveled to NORA conferences in the United States. The COVID-19 crisis makes international and even national meetings difficult, so we decided that we would take that difficulty and turn it into an opportunity. For the first time, our members and partners will meet and talk with their U.S. counterparts over several days and compare ideas and technological advancements.”

The Conference will be hosted on four consecutive Wednesdays in August and September (August 19 & 26 and September 2 & 9) with each session being approximately 3 hours. The sessions will begin at 9 a.m. Daylight Savings Time U.S. and 3 p.m. in Europe (UTC+1).

On the first day of the Conference, August 19, there will be a review of the policy actions being taken in the states of the United States and the countries of Europe including: How the goals of decarbonization will affect the liquid fuels industry and How other aspects of the industry from the producers of fuels to end users of the fuel will respond. Additionally, the visions for industries in both countries will be reviewed.

On August 26, the conference will focus on actions to respond to carbon reduction activities. The views: electricity is the solution to everything; how to subsidize conversions to heat pumps; tax schemes to reward or punish energy based on its carbon intensity and incentives for improvements will be examined.

September 2 will see the conference transition to a focus on the technical changes empowering the liquid heating fuels industry to move forward. Discussions of biodiesel (FAME) and renewable diesel (hydrogenated vegetable oil) will examine supply and which fuel will likely be the predominant fuel of the future as well as technical issues associated with the fuels. This session will also explore the exotic fuels of the future—liquid fuels made from cellulose and from electrolysis.

The wrap-up day of September 9 will focus on the hardware of heating. What are the potential design and regulatory limits of using fuels? And more importantly, what are the world’s leading manufacturers doing to ensure that liquid fuel heating equipment will participate in that future? Will we see integrated solar heating fuels systems or liquid powered heat pumps? The day will conclude with the issuance of a multi-year study from NORA evaluating efficiency gains from the replacement of older equipment with high performing new equipment in homes in the United States. The study will show how important accelerating the turnover of equipment is to reducing carbon emissions.

Access to the conference will be through Eastern Energy Expo On Demand at EasternEnergyExpo.com

More information and registration.

30Jun/20

Impact on service by biodiesel blends in heating oil

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has conducted periodic surveys to assess the impact and role that biofuels play in the marketplace. Many view low-carbon fuels as the best path for the industry as it reduces its environmental impact. Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel that is available in most markets, is used widely and offers significant reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide released by heating appliances.

NORA has conducted ongoing research in this area and has found that the transition to higher blends of biodiesel can occur with low costs and little impact on the consumer. A number of retailers have been selling the higher blends of biodiesel.

To verify/validate the lab conclusions on biodiesel, NORA conducted a wide-ranging survey of retailers and service personnel. This latest survey, completed in December 2019 is summarized here.

See the survey report here

23Apr/20

New Fuel Storage Tanks Manual

The National Oilheat Research Alliance has released a new Advanced Gold Series manual, Heating Fuel Storage Tanks, to accompany its Advanced Storage Tank Gold Series course or as a stand-alone study guide.
Written by John Donohue, J Donohue Associates and John Levey, NORA, the new manual recognizes the importance of on-site liquid fuel storage to the homeowner and emphasizes the need to choose the correct tank type, install it properly and conduct ongoing inspections and maintenance.
With eleven chapters the manual covers:

  • Why Tanks Fail
  • Codes & Regulations
  • Tank Selection Criteria
  • Installation Procedures
  • Fuel Lines
  • Filtration
  • Fuel Valves and Accessories
  • Tank Inspection& Maintenance Procedures
  • Tank Abandonment
  • Service Guides 

In addition, two Appendices include six evaluation, inspection and delivery report checklists along with NORA’s Recommended Practice for Home Heating Oil Tank Flood Resistance white paper.

Heating Fuel Storage Tanks is available in either print or free digital versions at noraweb.org/advanced-study-manuals

16Mar/20

Technical Note: Nitrile Rubber and B20 Biodiesel Blends

A significant amount of new testing data on nitrile performance in U.S. heating oil equipment with biodiesel meeting today’s stringent ASTM standards is now available. This recent testing shows common nitrile elastomers in typical heating oil burner pumps in the U.S. perform the same or better using B20 than those using conventional No. 2 heating oil. The validity of this testing is supported by elastomer manufacturers marketing B-100 nitrile which could, if appropriate, be used by burner manufacturers. See Technical note here.

26Feb/20

Technology Conference coming to Eastern Energy Expo

Building a Pathway to a Renewable Future
August 5, 2020, Mohegan Sun Resort, Uncasville, PA

As part of its charter, the National Oilheat Research Alliance actively engages in research & development of liquid fuels and heating appliances with the goal to provide consumers with enhanced efficiency and reliability while reducing oilheat’s impact on the environment. As a part of this process, NORA hosts technical conferences where members of the industry gather to review and discuss ongoing research and advancements. The 2020 Technology Conference will be held in conjunction with Eastern Energy Expo and all Expo attendees are welcome to attend.

03Jul/19

Product Development Program Opportunity Notice

PON No. 2019

The National Oilheat Research Alliance Board of Directors has authorized funds to be spent on various research projects. Under PON No. 2019, NORA plans to award multiple cost-shared contracts in nine categories, up to a total of $350,000 for each award.  This funding allocation may be adjusted depending on the quantity and quality of proposals received. There is no minimum project funding amount per project award.   All projects will be managed by NORA’s Research Center. Proposals are due August 1, 2019 at 5pm EST.

NORA PON No. 2019 seeks proposals to support the development,demonstration,and commercialization of Oilheat
technologies and systems in the following categories.

(See the actual PON for details)

  • Category A: Ability to go to 100% Low carbon liquid fuel (LCFW). Seeking fuels, components, and burners for NORA testing commercialization
  • Category B: Biofuel blending, terminal storage, on-site storage & delivery 
  • Category C: Modeling and report demonstrating LCFW appliances are superior than electric heat pumps for residential applications
  • Category D: Assessing the biofuel fuel supply and delivery infrastructure capabilities in 2030 and 2050
  • Category E: Demonstrate and field test the integration of latest generation smart thermostats in boiler applications versus the demand, assuming B50 in 2030 and B100 in 2050
  • Category F: Demonstrate and field test self-diagnostic burners and or appliances that provide trend analysis, component approaching failure and troubleshooting failure analysis.
  • Category G: Develop an analytical economic optimization model and report covering the sizing and operation of adding a cold climate heat pump to a non-condensing boiler
  • Category H: Develop advanced heating technologies including LCLF heat pumps focusing on efficiency and zero net carbon
  • Category I: Develop off-grid or grid failure heating systems that can operate in absence of power using batteries, generators or other means

    This funding allocation may be adjusted based upon the quantity and quality of the proposals received. There is no minimum project funding amount per project award. 

22Jan/19

Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel

Biodiesel significantly reduces Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum. The most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date lifecycle analysis of U.S. biodiesel produced from soybean oil concludes that GHG emissions are reduced 66-72% relative to average U.S. petroleum
while not trading off food-for-fuel nor destroying forests.

All of this is carefully explained in the report Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

21Dec/18

NORA Extended into 2029

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)  is pleased to announce that President Trump, on December 20, 2018, signed a ten-year extension for NORA allowing NORA activities to run uninterrupted for the first time ever.

Huber
John Huber

 As a component of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (popularly known as the “Farm Bill”), NORA is authorized to extend its activities until February 6, 2029. This was a great victory for the industry, as all previous extensions were limited to five years. NORA president John Huber praised the efforts within the industry as well from other partners.

”NORA offers special thanks to the organizations and individuals in the heating oil industry that worked so hard and effectively to see this through. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America’s (PMMA) family of associations was particularly effective. We had strong support in the Senate from Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Patrick Leahy (VT), and Susan Collins (ME) who shepherded this through.

Continue reading
24Oct/18

Technical Workshop and the Oilheat Vision

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) recently hosted its Third Annual Technology Workshop in conjunction with the Southern New England Energy Conference on September 24th and 25th at the Newport Marriott, Newport, Rhode Island.   

NORA’s Workshop highlighted the research work being done at the NORA lab, NORA sponsored projects, innovations underway in Europe and technology advances of companies in the industry.

With a theme of “finding the path forward” for the oilheat industry, the workshop showcased 15 speakers from the U.S. and Europe followed by a panel discussing where the industry sees immediate and long-term threats and which technologies and initiatives can address them.

You can see each of the speakers and their presentations here