The Testing Laboratory of Boilers of the Energy Research Center in cooperation with the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute processes the balance of emissions from heating Czech households with solid fuels. The purpose of the winning project was the extension of earlier findings in this area which so far have been dealt with with the given power rating of the equipment. The focus of the project was to determine the emission factors of small combustion facilities when operating at lower power. “When people suppress the boiler, it won’t work as best as it can. Its performance is lower and thus it produces more emissions of pollutant substances, where the aim of the project was to specify how big the difference is,“ says Ing. Jiří Horák Ph.D., the technical manager of the laboratory in the Energy Research Center.
The findings from the factual fire tests contributed to a “transformation” of Jiří Horák into a SMOKESMAN who together with his colleagues educates the wide public on heating not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Slovakia and Austria. With his show named “SMOKESMAN intervenes“, Jiří Horák tries to explain to his listeners of any age how to heat properly. “Put simply, there are four factors which affect what your chimneys emit: the type of the boiling appliance, the quality of the fuel, the quality of the service as well as the quality of the maintenance of the boiling appliance,” explains the SMOKEMAN, and he adds: “It is like a chain. When some of those four things doesn’t work properly, the whole thing won’t work either.”
In his performance, Jiří Horák likes to use various models, tools and experiments to explain and help the public understand the nature of the phenomena which are connected with the combustion and thus the heating process. He strictly orders the touching. The famous presenter Daniela Písařovicová could experience it herself during the festive ceremony: she was the one in rose-colored glasses and once she inhaled the potent gas SF6 , the SMOKEMAN’s greeting “Destroy the smoke” which she spoke out loud, gained its real depth. In his short stage performance, Jiří Horák made an unexpected show which was warmly rewarded with a long-lasting applause by the audience.
In his original speech, the manager of the laboratory of the Energy Research Center – with some exaggeration – thanked people (the so called smolders) who do not use their appliances the way they should and without whom the mentioned issue would not be there at all. At the same time, he warned those smolders about the fact that times change and it is just about time to stop the careless behaviour.
Here is the SMOKEMAN’S Decalogue of a good boilerman as inspiration to all of us:
1. Do not be indifferent to yourself nor to your environment. Be concerned about what comes out of your chimney.
2. Dry your wood for at least one or two years.
3. Do not burn rubbish!
4. Set the air volume dampers to make it possible for the air to get to the fuel, do not smoulder the fire.
5. It is better to stoke up a smaller amount of fuel more often than a big amount once in a while.
6. Clean both the boiler and the chimney on a regular basis.
7. Use modern boilers and stoves.
8. Keep the temperature of the exhaust gas behind the boiler between 150 and 250 °C.
9. Do not waste the heat, do not overheat and only heat up spaces that need it.
10. Heat up the way you would like your neighbour to do so.