Faculty Advisor

Sullivan, John M


Conventional wood burning fireplaces make inefficient space heating elements for residential use. The use of some commercial fire grates claim to increase the heating efficiency. The purpose of this project is to test the validity of these claims using theoretical models and experimental analysis of heat transfer. A test structure was fabricated and instrumented to gather experimental data. This data was used to compute the heat added by the fire grate. These calculations yielded roughly 625 Watts added to the room from one, four-piped insert. This is equivalent to a 40% increase in heat production from a similar fireplace. From this it is concluded that the addition of a fireplace insert similar to the one used in this project with a blower attachment is beneficial for space heating.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering