Project processing and handling of the current Corona Virus – Available testing capacities

At first, we would like to inform you that we are still available for you in with the usual quality and service, even in this difficult phase.

Due to the situation, affected customers have cancelled current projects. Therefore, free test capacities are available. If you have urgent projects due to bottlenecks or closings of other laboratories, please feel free to contact your contact person from us or by using the contact details below.

COVID-19 currently provides many questions and is an issue everywhere, so we would like to provide feedback on the current process of our company.

We are working in project related teams, have separated workplaces, hold meetings via video conference and use the home office to protects the health of our employees. We have also implemented increased cleaning and hygiene measures.

Please understand that, in this situation, we cannot carry out any external audits or undertake business trips. Furthermore, customers visits are only possible with prior notification; deliveries must be scheduled in advance. Here we adhere to strict distancing rules.

Contact info for urgent tests:

E-Mail:  p.fischer@rrf-online.eu
Tel: 0208 6070410

2nd Future Workshop in Leipzig

On 15. And 16.01.2020, the workshop on the topic of particles again took place in the Deutschen Biomasse Forschungszentrum (DBFZ) in Leipzig. Like in the last meeting, it was organized by the Europäische Feuerstätten Arbeitsgemeinschaft (EFA), the Zentralverband Sanitär, Heizung, Klima (ZVSHK) and the Association Schornsteintechnik.

Falling particulate matter levels, challenging standards and growing awareness in the industry contrasts with a massive negative image of heat generated with wood. This situation is not only unsatisfactory for industry and politics, but those who suffer, are those who should have profited in the end: the people in Germany.

For this reason, the invited experts, including our CEO Mr. Christian Droll, dealt with the topics of particles and heat from the renewable raw material wood.

Future-oriented roadmaps for our society’s climate goals were developed. The goal of this workshop is to develop a joint cross-sector research proposal for efficient and market-oriented emission reduction.

The RRF is happy about the visit of the ZIV

The technical committee of the ZIV (Bundesverband des Schornsteinhandwerks – Zentralinnungsverband) visited our laboratory for fireplaces and exhaust systems in Drolshagen.

After the arrival of the participants, there was a detailed discussion on the current status of the standards for fireplaces for example the new head standard DIN EN 16510-1 Residential solid fuel burning appliances – Part 1: General requirements and test methods as a replacement for e.g. DIN EN 13240  roomheaters for solid fuels and DIN EN 14785 roomheaters for burning of wood pellets. In the discussion, the points of intersection and differences between measurements on the test bench according to the product standards and operations in practice were also addressed.

When inspecting the test benches, our CEOs Dennis and Christian Droll explained the standard-compliant procedure of tests and the requirements from the relevant test standards.

We thank the ZIV for the informative exchange and visit and look forwards to deepening the cooperation.

New technician in Oberhausen

Since 01.01.2020 we are happy about a newcomer in the RRF.

Mr. Chris Schäfersküpper reinforces our team as the second technician in our laboratory in Oberhausen. His knowledge of measurements and control technology as well as a chimney sweeper complements us with new points of view and experience.

We warmly welcome Chris!

Reinforcement in our laboratory in Drolshagen

In our laboratory in Drolshagen we are happy about reinforcement.

Mr. Heribert Bender supports our technicians in our laboratory in Drolshagen.

We look forward to his active support and warmly welcome Heribert.

Passing of the “Blauer Engel”

In its meeting on 11. and 12. December 2019 the “Jury Umweltzeichen” did pass the “Blauer Engel” for wood burning stoves. This means that the environmental label can be applied for at the RAL gGmbH from 01. January 2020.

The awarding criteria and all necessary application documents are now available in German language on the “Blauer Engel” website: https://www.blauer-engel.de/de/produktwelt/bauen-heizen/kaminoefen-fuer-holz

The corresponding documents in English language will follow shortly.

Since the RRF was, of course; also actively involved in the development of the criteria of the environmental label, we have included the test in our portfolio and can offer you this test for your fireplaces. In the course of this, we have invested in the measuring device for particle counting, so that we can offer you the required particle counting method from January.

You are welcome to contact us for any questions or a non-binding offer request.

The RRF talks about political issues in Berlin

The industry association Europäisches Feuerstatten Arbeitsgemeinschaft (EFA) discusses mainly political topics at the autumn conference – The RRF participates in the exchange

The autumn conference of the Europäisches Feuerstatten Arbeitsgemeinschaft (EFA) which took place from 24 to 25 October 2019 in Berlin, focused mainly on political branch work in the European core market Germany. In close proximity to the Chancellor’s office and the Bundestag, the most important European industry representatives joined besides the RRF to vote on the political positions.

Despite the tense situation, EFA-CEO Mr. Uwe Striegler sees an opportunity for the industry and craftsmanship to actively shape the future. “the amendment of the BImSchV, the introduction of the “Blauer Engel” and the discussion regarding the derivation conditions are just as much technical as well as political issues,” says Striegler.

The program of the meeting also became politically. Tino Sorge, member of the Bundestag, showed points of contact to the German federal politics. Dr. Johannes R. Gerstner, EFA-CEO, drew attention to the need for unity between all associations in Germany and offered the support from the EFA. Tim Froitzheim, ZVSHK, explained the current state of the particle and environmental discussion. Dirk Böhringer, technical manager of the EFA, offered a European perspective beyond the current German discussion. Prof. Dr. Michael Mäs from The University of Groningen (Netherlands) announced an EFA-supported research project on the public discussion of particular matters.

Christian Droll represented the RRF and introduced himself and his role as chairman of the Research and Science Advisory Board. In addition, the future members of the advisory board were presented and the members of the association will have the opportunity to participate.

The association EFA is growing – six new members have joined since March 2019 – and is an effective platform for representing industry interests and a way to voice the interests for fireplaces and chimneys.

Participation in the expert workshops and expert discussions on the topics of the environmental label “Blauer Engel” and evaluation of the 1. BImSchV

Due to our competence, we are regularly invited to expert rounds.

We are glad to take this responsible part to actively participate in the legislation, climate protection and the future of the industry.  

1. BImSchV

In the second expert discussion, on 12 September 2019 in Berlin, regarding the evaluation of the 1. BImSchV, the preliminary final report of the DBFZ (Deutsches Biomasse Forschungszentrum) was presented and discussed.

Christian Droll actively participated in the discussion.

The amendment of the 1. BImSchV 2010 revised the regulations for solid fuel appliances and was complemented with new requirements. On one hand, the emission limits for new appliances were significantly tightened and, on the other hand, for the first time, new limits were established for existing appliances in the retail sector – with transitional periods – connected with retrofitting or shut down responsibilities.

Eight years later, the question now arises as to whether the amendment to the 1. BImSchV actually achieves the hoped-for and also assumed in individual studies on future emission trends and whether there is still room for improvement if necessary.

The final report should answer this question and provide a basis for discussion for a renewed amendment of the 1. BImSchV.

In further expert rounds we will accompany the revision of the amendment.

Blauer Engel

Since the beginning of the expert discussions on the environmental label “Blauer Engel”, the RRF participated in the relevant meetings. We will include the test program in our portfolio and are already offering preliminary tests on the current version of the “Blauer Engel” criteria.

The criteria of the “Blauer Engel” was lastly discussed at the second Environmental Label Hearing “Kaminöfen” (DE-UZ xxx) on 18./19.09.2019 in Berlin at the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). Representing the RRF, Christian Droll participated and integrated our position into the meeting. On 11 and 12 December 2019 the the “Blauer Engel” will be presented to the jury “Umweltzeichen”. Until the 22 November comments can be send to the RAL non-profit GmbH, which will be awarding the label.

The final result of the decision will be made by the jury in December and the label will be introduced from the 01 January 2020 on out. The awarding criteria can be requested at www.blauer-engel.de or www.umweltzeichen-ral.de.

Future Workshop

In addition, in June 2019, the first Future Workshop for the fireplaces and chimney industry took place at the Umweltforschungszentrum (UFZ) in Leipzig, in close proximity to the Deutschen Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ). The Europäische Feuerstätten Arbeitsgemeinschaft (EFA), the Zentralverband Sanitär, Heizung, Klima (ZVSHK) und der Fachverband Schornsteintechnik invited to this event. Over two days, the innovative workshop concept identified the industry’s current challenges and planned future steps. What was special: Not only the industry was involved, also representatives of other interested parties and politics came to Leipzig.

On 15 – 16 January, the Future Workshop will be continued at the Agritechnical in Hanover, in order to substantiate the results of the first workshop.

Validation of the new European method for particle matter measurement (EN-PME)

The secretariat of the CEN/TC 295/WG 5 has issued new information on the new European method for particle matter (PM) measurement

Here you can find the content of the flyer:

Ecodesign and particulate matter
As of January 1, 2022, the European regulation on ecodesign requirements for solid fuel local space heaters will enter into force in all member states of the EU. From then on these appliances must comply with minimum requirements for efficiency and for the emission of CO, NOx, hydrocarbons (OGC) and particulate matter (PM).

The ecodesign regulation states three possible methods for the measurement of particulate matter. These methods are based on the current national methods as used in e.g. Germany, Austria, Norway, Denmark, UK, Belgium, Italy and France. The limit values for the PM emission as given for each method in the ecodesign regulation are not comparable with each other and to make matters more complicated, the description of the methods differs on critical details from the national methods.

So, there is the need for a uniform European measurement method: EN-PME!

What is the EN-PME method?

The EN-PME method is a method to measure the emission of particulate matter (dust) in the flue gases coming from residential appliances fired by solid fuel such as wood or pellets. It is based on sampling and measurement of particulate matter and hydrocarbons at the same temperature (180 °C).

In 2015, after 3 years of research, the method was presented by a consortium of 18 European research and test institutes.

The EN-PME method is adopted by the European standardization committee CEN/TC295 as the uniform European method provided that its validity is proven on all types of solid fuel local space heaters. Therefore, a validation project is launched by the working group WG 5 ‘Test methods’ of CEN/TC 295. Many notified test laboratories have since then acquired a sampling set specially designed for the EN-PME method.

The validation project

The EN-PME method will be tested by notified test laboratories on approximately 150 different appliances covering all types of solid fuel local space heaters. These tests will run simultaneously with the ‘normal’ particulate matter measurement as part of the initial type test of the appliance.

The goals of this project are varied:

1. To prove the validity of the method on all types of solid fuel local space heaters, i.e. is the method able to collect a representative sample of particulate matter under type test conditions.

2. To prove that the EN-PME method can replace the current three methods.

3. To create a database with EN-PME emission results from which a possible emission limit under ecodesign can be proposed.

Why is the EN-PME method needed?
to ensure that European manufacturers can sell their appliances in every country in the EU, without having to do additional national measurements. Also, the EN-PME method solves the current ambiguous description of the methods in the ecodesign regulation, consequently creating a level playing field for everyone involved.

How can I join the EN-PME validation project?

When you offer an appliance for an initial type test at a notified laboratory, ask them to do a test with the EN-PME method as well. Since this involves some extra work for the laboratory, they will ask you for a relatively modest financial contribution, the height of which is subject of an agreement between you and the laboratory.

The results of the tests will be made anonymous by your test laboratory and sent to CEN/TC 295/WG 5 for further evaluation. The duration of the validation project is approximately 18 months.”

Recruitment for the team

We are happy to welcome a familiar face to the RRF again.

After completing the half-year internship at the RRF and successfully completing her education, we welcome Mrs. Jacqueline Bojarski back to the team of the RRF.

At the same time, we also welcome Mr. Heribert Bender as support for our testing laboratory in Drolshagen.

We look forward to working with the two new team members.