I just got another letter from "Jeremy" on the FlueCube. Thank you Jeremy I really appreciate your input and also enjoy a lively debate. Here is Jeremy's letter in full - interjected with my responses in italics:
Jeremy has left a new comment on your post "FlueCube Chimney Cowl & Stove Efficiency":
Close to 200 sold, 100% positive feedback and customer satisfaction with the claims on the fluecube website. Regardless, almost every expert and specialist they bring this to discount it before even seeing it work. Their doing great work, selling well and I encourage them.
Sales figures and non-independent feedback are not great criteria by which to judge the scientific performance and effectiveness of any product - don't you think?
The appliance cannot solve the issues of atmospheric back pressure. An H Cowl promises to fix down daft as do many cowls but they do not address atmospheric back-pressure. Air sheds in high inversion areas are where the worst wood heater pollution is.
I think you may be referring to pressure zones? No static cowl, that I know of, can deal with pressure zones either from inversions or wind and barrier created. Some powered cowls are good in this sort of situation. In wind and barrier created pressure zones - It may help to raise the height of a chimney above the zone of pressure.
The inventor lacks relevant technical information simply because of no testing apparatus in international standards designed to record cowling efficacy or outside weather effects on the appliances performance. All standards do is promote new appliances.
Lots of hype plus a lack of hard scientific facts does not help to promote any item. I, for one, will not buy any item unless I firstly understand the working principles and then access several independent reviews from those who are scientifically equipped to make an informed evaluation.
He decided the only way was to get it out there to homes, to the consumer. He was right in doing so. There's too many 'hyped up' green market investors out there seeking the new oil to contend with. Natural Gas is going to work harder now nuclear struggles to keep the clean energy label. There is a huge lack of trust in light of recent disasters.
Good luck to him - I wish him all the best with his efforts. But, using some of your own terminology, there are too many 'hyped up' gizmos and ideas out there - and a 'huge lack of trust' - because of so many failures to deliver results.
In suburban and rural areas consumers desire security, self sufficiency, sustainability, fuel efficiency, neighbours that don't winge, and to be in control of their own domains.
Domestic heating needs security from power outages and natural disasters. Majority of consumers care little about global economic fads around climate change and from the top end energy sector.
I agree completely - that is why I have a stove myself and promote this efficient, safe, inexpensive, and independently sustainable method of home heating. I have burned garden clippings and thinnings, driftwood, old packing cases etc. Last year I had heat for a over week just from prunings of my trees in the garden.
Pellet burners lack the element of self sufficiency that typical log burners do offer to consumers. All they were waiting for was a cheap device to solve the emissions problem and get the health fanatics off their backs.
I see pellets as good for biomass energy plants and perhaps the more boutique electric flame or gas log fire category but its unlikely they will go further than that domestically.
I have long since stated, on this blog, that wood-pellet heating has not yet arrived technically or in the quality, storage and supply of fuel. I have given almost a dozen good reasons why NOT to go with wood pellet heating and thus avoid the associated complexity, the very high installation costs, the fuel storage problems, and the lack of fuel independence associated with this form of domestic heating.