it started with one ton of sawdust in the driveway....
....and the rest is history. Summerhill has developed new technology that utilizes a low-cost, revolutionary process to burn wood and other biomass in place of oil and propane fossil fuels for heating applications. Essentially, Summerhill’s technology can help reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and usher in a new era of green energy consumption.
Dr. James T. McKnight and son J. Kimball McKnight began working on a fuel system that could run on corn and wood pellets in 2006. Their goal was to produce a form of renewable energy that was more efficient than ethanol. The McKnights developed a smokeless, odorless technology wherein plant waste is reduced to a fine powder that burns as intensely as a gas. A conventional thermostat allows control of temperature, and the unit can be turned on and off instantaneously. Instant on and off adds a new level of efficiency beyond traditional suspension burner systems that can take hours to heat up to combustion level and more hours to cool down for maintenance purposes.
Summerhill has demonstrated one of its systems for the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and The United States Depsrtment of Agriculture (USDA). An initial study on the system performed by Cornell University confirmed that the system produces no smoke, odor, or organic emissions. According to the company’s business and marketing plan, the powder system has regional, national and global potential as the cost of fossil fuels continually increase and other forms of biomass energy prove to be inefficient. The technology’s uses range from grain drying to commercial applications to small scale industrial facilities.
The company has been featured in the Syracuse Post-Standard, the Central New York Business Journal, Reuters, Biomass Magazine, Bioenergy Insights, and several other national, international and industry trade publications.
Summerhill, named after the Cayuga County community where the technology was developed, was incorporated in 2007. It has patents awarded and pending on this new technology in several countries and is continuing research in electricity and automotive combustion.