The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)

By Charles Ford,2014-05-06 14:45
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The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)

    RE: Information Guide For Media / also

    served as release to trade media indicating progress and achievements

    reached since NORA’s founding

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)

    Who we are and what we do.

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) is a collaborative effort

    among Oilheat companies in 22 states and regions in the USA. NORA’s

    activities support consumer education, technical training of Oilheat

    personnel, and research and development projects.

    Over ten million homeowners in several colder climate regions of the

    United States presently heat their homes with oil. NORA’s creation

    provides a means whereby the industry can devote resources to creating

    better products and services on behalf of the consuming public, provide

    continuing education to the industry, and advance the development of

    improved fuels and heating engineering.

    NORA’s first official meeting took place in February 2001 in Washington,

    DC, and the organization has made significant impact in the heating

    field since that time. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, NORA has

    established a number of programs to achieve its research, training and

    education objectives

Consumer Education Component

    Vital to NORA’s mission is to keep consumers informed regarding the

    latest advances in heating comfort and technology provided by Oilheat

    fuels and systems.

NORA has developed materials that highlight the benefits of Clearburn

    Science?— the designation applied to technology that enables today’s

    Oilheat equipment to burn fuel much cleaner and more environmentally

    friendly than previously attainable.

NORA’s public access website, provides an

    important media presence by which much of the tangible benefits of

    Oilheat can be explained to consumers. The site also contains reference

    materials that explain how heating and hot water systems work and

    related topics of value to homeowners.

A series of pamphlets has also been produced to aid in the home buying

    and home maintenance processes. These materials were designed to

    establish more accurate and credible impressions about the merits of

    Oilheat within the minds of homeowners, realtors and home inspectors.

Publications available from NORA include:

    Open the Door to a More Energy Efficient Home, which gives the

    homeowner suggestions for saving money as well as energy.

    • The Homeowners’ Guide diagrams the way most Oilheating systems work

    today and emphasizes cleanliness and efficiency as well as alleviating

    concerns about on-site fuel supply storage.

    • The Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Oilheat details the advances of

    Clearburn Science?, compares hydronic (baseboard and radiant heat

    systems) to warm air heating systems and also references the fuel

    efficiency and safety of Oilheat.

    Several radio and television commercials were also produced to convey the message that today’s Oilheat is different in content, performance and comfort than many consumers may have realized.

    These messages are periodically broadcast in designated markets under the joint sponsorship of NORA and participating state and regional Oilheat associations who represent the companies that form NORA’s collaborative operating structure.

The Technical Training Initiatives of NORA

    NORA is dedicated to training heating personnel with both basic and advanced instruction, as well training the instructors who provide this education.

    In the education and training area, NORA has developed several materials that are proving invaluable to the industry:

    • The Basic Oilheat Technician’s Manual was rewritten and redesigned to

    become a user friendly, up-to-date, precise reference tool for technicians in the field. Since its introduction in late 2002, over 7,000 copies of this 400-page training manual have been purchased by individuals, plus schools and regional Oilheat associations who distribute the manuals to entry-level trainees and students at junior colleges and technical high schools.

An accompanying teachers manual serves as the basis for a “Train the

    Trainer” program.

    • Several training videos supplement the written materials. The videos show how to respond to a no heat call and how to perform a proper system tune-up. A library of video technical reference materials is being created that will eventually contain a dozen or more titles.

    In addition to the training materials, NORA has established a certification program for technicians who have completed the required courses and have passed the appropriate technical examinations. NORA’s certification program has gained widespread acceptance in the

    field as a way of recognizing the respective advanced skills and service capabilities of technicians presently working in the industry.

    A complete reference guide to the certification program, plus access to the technical publications and video materials available via NORA can be found on NORA’s education website,

    To meet the continuing demand for technicians in the field, NORA is also involved in a recruitment partnership with the National Association of Oil Heating Service managers (NAOHSM). This combined effort has brought new personnel into the field and has provided encouragement for those who wish to study Oilheat technology. A CD and accompanying brochure that focus on careers in Oilheating are available upon e-mail request to or

The Research Arm of NORA

    Most of the research activity initiated by NORA has been assumed and is overseen by the National Oilheat Research Institute (NORI), the R&D affiliate of NORA. Long-term studies are underway in a variety of areas, including fuel performance factors, mechanical features of Oilheat systems and fuel storage and maintenance. NORA was instrumental in establishing the Institute to conduct these programs.

    The following projects are ongoing or remain to-be-scheduled: • A fuel performance study conducted by Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY

    • An evaluation of after market additive performance

    • An analysis of the best practices for tank storage , piping, filtration and nozzles

    • An assessment of fuel quality and measures to adopt to maintain consistently clean Btu output from Oilheat

    • Development of an electronic smoke tester

    • A comprehensive report of the advantages of Oilheat product with low sulfur content

    NORI has also joined OWI, the German counterpart to the research arm of NORA. Representatives from Bookhaven National Laboratory and NORA have attended OWI conferences to study the low burn firing rates and ultra low sulfur fuels that are now the norm in much of western Europe.

    Additionally, NORA has provided funds that have aided US manufacturers in the advancement of practical technologies that have thus far lead to: • A new, ultra high efficiency warm air furnace system (condensing-

    combustion type, allowing for direct vent applications; i.e., no chimney required). The prototype furnace has displayed the highest combustion efficiency readings of any warm air furnace available. • An efficient two-stage oil fired warm air furnace system using a

    modulating (ECM Motor type) circulating air blower that allows for Oilheat and AC to be provided with increased energy efficiency and improved comfort.

    NORA publishes annual reports that summarize the industry’s progress and achievement. Pdf files for years 2001 and 2002 are available upon request to Printed versions are available

    upon request from National Oilheat Research Alliance, 211 North Union Street, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22314.


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