Made by Bixby Energy Systems, Bixby pellet stoves came late to the market in 2004. Coming to a market late isn't always a disadvantage, particularly in this case. Robert Walker was able to take an overview of the pellet stove market and to define its problem areas.Designing his stoves primarily to burn corn, Bob identified that the main problem was the need to keep the burnpot clear of ash and clinkers to allow free combustion air passage to the fuel. This resulted in Bixby's radical burnpot design.
The burnpot is in two sections, upper and lower. Both sections have 'vortex' air holes to maintain a fire. After a pre-defined length of time according to the fuel feed rate, an arm cuts between the two sections to separate ash from fuel. The ash from the lower burnpot is dumped while a fire is maintained in the upper half.
Tests done by Cornell university show that Bixby stoves are well able to handle high ash pellets such as those made from grasses. From the Cornell test results:
"There has been no build-up on the surface of the burn pot, the air circulation holes in the bottom and sides of the burn pot have not become plugged. Since a partially melted ash wafer of 1 inch thickness is cut off the bottom of the mat in the burn pot, there is very little ash material blown around in the stove. This makes it the cleanest stove we tested."
Another area Bob Walker investigated was the fuel feed system. Bixby pellet stoves don't have an auger. Instead, fuel is collected by a 'ferris wheel' which allows fuel in at the bottom of its cycle, unloads it into the burnpot at the top and prevents jamming caused by foreign bodies in the fuel.
Bixby Energy Systems
Bixby Energy Systems, Inc. was founded by Robert Walker in June 2001 after the incredible increase in energy prices. He realised that energy from waste material was a largely untapped source and looked at biomass, municipal solid waste, sewage and wood waste.
From the Bixby website:
"Bixby Energy Systems, Inc. is dedicated to finding, developing, and providing the best technology, systems, and methodology available today to provide clean, economical, and independent new energy solutions for the world of the future.
Bixby Energy intends to be more than a manufacturer of a biomass-fueled pellet stove. Bixby's goal is to be a major developer and maker of products which create energy from biomass in two areas: 1) heat and electrical energy generated from biomass furnace systems and 2) fuel made from biomass materials."
Freestanding Bixby Pellet Stoves
Two Bixby stoves are currently in production:
An attractive round fronted enamel finish stove which produces 50,000 btu.
and is rated to heat up to 2,200 square feet.
A square black stove more like a furnace producing 70,000 btu. and rated to heat over 3,000 square feet