Sign in to follow this  
ToughButterCup

A thought to kick-start the week.

Recommended Posts

Thought we did this.

https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/topic/19819-microwave-boiler-early-april-fool/?tab=comments#comment-319637

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's gibberish.

---------------------
The fuel involved is usually natural gas. This is burned in a central boiler in order to heat water that flows to radiators elsewhere in the building. Britain's government would like to change this. From 2025 gas-fired boilers will be banned in newly built homes. By the mid-2030s installing new gas boilers in existing houses will be banned, too.

The question is what will replace them. Unlike electricity generation, where renewables are proving popular, or cars, where battery-powered vehicles are rapidly becoming established, the market for green heating is anyone's to play for. The usual suspects (assuming any electricity supplied is generated using appropriately carbon-free means) include electric immersion heaters, heat pumps (devices that work a bit like refrigerators in reverse, in that they extract heat from a building’s surroundings and then pump it into that building), and burning hydrogen instead of natural gas. Engineers at a small British company called Heat Wayv, though, think they have another contender: microwaves.

The principle is the same as in a microwave oven. Many molecules, water included, are electrically dipolar. This means they have a positive charge at one end and a negative one at the other. They will therefore rotate to align themselves with a strong electromagnetic field. If that field is oscillating, as is the case with electromagnetic radiation such as microwaves, then the molecules themselves will oscillate too—bumping and jostling their neighbours as they do so, and thus creating heat.

But there is more to building a microwave boiler than simply repurposing the parts used for an oven, says Phil Stevens, one of Heat Wayv's founders. Most microwave ovens employ magnetrons—chunky devices built by surrounding a cathode with a carefully shaped anode that is designed to produce electromagnetic radiation of a specific frequency. With the help of a pair of big chipmakers, Heat Wayv has come up with a solid-state device that performs the same job, but which fits on a 10-square-centimetre silicon chip.

Arrays of these devices beam microwaves into water in a boiler, heating it up. The pipes that carry the water are also made of microwave-sensitive materials, as is the insulation that lags them. And a heat exchanger recycles residual waste warmth. The upshot, says Mr Stevens, is a boiler that is about 96% efficient. The best existing gas boilers rarely exceed 90%.

Efficiency matters, because the move away from gas may mean higher heating bills. Electricity generated from fossil fuels is necessarily more expensive than the fuels themselves. In Britain, at the moment, a given amount of energy delivered as electricity costs three or four times as much as the same amount delivered by natural gas. Switching to renewables is unlikely to change that much. Though the “fuel” involved (wind or sunlight) is free, other costs are often higher than for conventional power stations. Forced by law to switch from gas, then, customers will surely have their eyes on the cost.

Heat Wayv argues its technology offers advantages over rival methods. Immersion heaters must run continuously to deliver water at a suitable temperature. That often warms water which is never used. By contrast, and like existing gas boilers, microwaves heat water quickly enough to provide it only when it is needed.

Heat pumps, too, have drawbacks. Their efficiency plummets on cold days, when they are needed most. They are also bulky. And they generate water that is warm rather than hot, often requiring the retrofitting of bigger radiators or underfloor heating.

Hydrogen, meanwhile, must either be extracted from natural gas or created by running electrical currents through water. Both processes are inherently inefficient and the former is hardly green. Also, the infrastructure needed to produce and deliver hydrogen in quantity does not yet (and may never) exist.

Heat Wayv hopes to be producing microwave boilers for sale by 2024, in time for the first stage of the government’s ban. Mr Stevens says the idea has attracted interest from most of Britain’s big housebuilders. Soon, perhaps, microwaves may heat people’s water as well as their food.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good lord, what a steaming pile of nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Thought we did this.
...

 

Just shows; tek yer eye of t' ball in this place for a minnit, and yer toast.... toast.😌

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope they have convinced their investors that it is best.

I see this sort of thing as just a scheme for taking money of the wealthy and giving it to the not quite so wealthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

 

Just shows; tek yer eye of t' ball in this place for a minnit, and yer toast.... toast.😌

 

I like toast.

 

(Tip: Turning off Javascript seems to break that particular bit of the Economist ferewall.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

...

(Tip: Turning off Javascript seems to break that particular bit of the Economist ferewall.)

 

You Bad Lad! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

I hope they have convinced their investors that it is best.

I see this sort of thing as just a scheme for taking money of the wealthy and giving it to the not quite so wealthy.

 

How might this scheme take money from wealthy people?  Might you mean reduce the incomes of wealthy people?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Arrays of these devices beam microwaves into water in a boiler, heating it up. The pipes that carry the water are also made of microwave-sensitive materials, as is the insulation that lags them. And a heat exchanger recycles residual waste warmth. The upshot, says Mr Stevens, is a boiler that is about 96% efficient. The best existing gas boilers rarely exceed 90%.

Erm yes, but an electric resistance heater is 100% efficcient.

 

This is a complicated solution looking for a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

How might this scheme take money from wealthy people?  Might you mean reduce the incomes of wealthy people?

Nope - persuade wealthy people to invest their money in a company which is extremely unlikely ever to make any money. They'll lose their investment, but the (less wealthy) people running the company will get a good living out of it for a few years.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the FAQ on their website:

 

Quote

How is the Heat Wayv different to a resistive/immersion coil?

An immersion coil is an electrical resistance element that simply transfers direct heat into a volume of liquid. The rate of electrical current transfer in the element has some corresponding loss in the transmission, delivering approx. 99.5% of its energy into the liquid.

 

However, there is dissipated volumetric loss that directly affects thermal efficiency which has to be taken into consideration when evaluating overall performance. This thermal loss equates to 1% per radial centimetre from the element during its heating phase and once temperature is attained 03% loss per radial centimetre during its stand-by reheating phase. Accordingly, an immersion coil situated in a tank with a diameter of 450mm (R225mm) would be just over 75% efficient during the high-energy consuming heating phase.

 

This type of unit is ordinarily used to heat hot water only.

 

By contrast, a Heat Wayv consistently maintains efficiency without operational loss and achieves the required space and hot water temperatures on-demand by using an innovative optimised three-phase heating cycle. Firstly, it fully maximises current resistance in signal generation and amplification by utilising convected waste heat to elevate the initial water temperature. Secondly, 100% of the generated microwave signal is transferred into the liquid via confined cavities and highly dielectric materials to reach nominal thermal temperature. Finally, optimal usage temperature is attained and maintained by latent heat transfer into the liquid through the use of proprietary exothermic diffusing insulation.

 

The last paragraph sounds like it was written by an AI that was given a list of technical words and asked to assemble them into grammatically correct sentences.  

 

Edited to add:

 

23 minutes ago, pdf27 said:

Nope - persuade wealthy people to invest their money in a company which is extremely unlikely ever to make any money. They'll lose their investment, but the (less wealthy) people running the company will get a good living out of it for a few years.

 

They may even find a way to let poor people invest:

 

Quote

Can I invest in Heat Wayv?

Heat Wayv is currently privately funded.

 

However, we have been overwhelmed by the level of interest from people seeking to invest in our company, they like the technology, the challenge we are trying to meet and want to be a part of the future of space and hot water heating innovation in the UK and beyond.

 

We are in the process of evaluating the practicality of establishing a fund that would enable investors to partake via an investment in the development and growth of the company.

 

If being a part of this exciting heating product of the future proposition is of interest to you, we urge you to register your details with us using the Contact Form and we will add you to the mailing list for notification should we decide to proceed with fund raising in this way.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the key idea is an electric combi boiler based on microwave on-demand heating:

 

Quote

By contrast, a Heat Wayv consistently maintains efficiency without operational loss and achieves the required space and hot water temperatures on-demand by using an innovative optimised three-phase heating cycle.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, pdf27 said:

Nope - persuade wealthy people to invest their money in a company which is extremely unlikely ever to make any money. They'll lose their investment, but the (less wealthy) people running the company will get a good living out of it for a few years.

 

 

You would hope so but don't forget the same wibble merchants prosper on the public sector, these "innovators" might land some Government investment that will bail out the early private investors so we tax payers might all end up as investors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ToughButterCup said:

 

How might this scheme take money from wealthy people?  Might you mean reduce the incomes of wealthy people?

Only income when the asset (shares) is converted to cash.

And the  only if it is not reinvested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

Perhaps the key idea is an electric combi boiler based on microwave on-demand heating:

 

I assume that's the general idea, but the way they're selling it is very snake-oily. They're comparing the efficiency of stored water immersion heaters with on-demand microwave-based heating. They should be comparing it with instantaneous electric hot water heating. I suppose there could be opportunities to increase the efficiency of those devices, but they're selling this like it's a revolutionary energy and carbon saver, which is just plain horse5hit.

 

Edited to add: some incidental efficiency gains aside, I just can't see how instantaneous electric heating is going to be price competitive with the gas it's replacing. Bear in mind that if it's instantaneous, you can't take advantage of cheap off-peak power.    

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, jack said:

Edited to add: some incidental efficiency gains aside, I just can't see how instantaneous electric heating is going to be price competitive with the gas it's replacing. Bear in mind that if it's instantaneous, you can't take advantage of cheap off-peak power.    

 

 

Very snake oily I agree. I assume their pitch is once gas boilers are outlawed what next for low-end housing where a domestic hotwater tank takes up a disproportionate amount of space.

 

Hydrogen is the answer, we are going to need massive over capacity of wind generation to cope with quiet weather days and deal with the flakyness of end-of-life nuke powerstations. Given that currently the wind farms are paid to feather their blades some nights to prevent excess power in the grid we may as well direct the surplus power to hydrogen production plants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought Gretta has decreed that COP26 in Glasgow should be postponed for a year and so I was hoping for a year of zero emissions from fringe save the planet science. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, jack said:

 

I assume that's the general idea, but the way they're selling it is very snake-oily. They're comparing the efficiency of stored water immersion heaters with on-demand microwave-based heating. They should be comparing it with instantaneous electric hot water heating. I suppose there could be opportunities to increase the efficiency of those devices, but they're selling this like it's a revolutionary energy and carbon saver, which is just plain horse5hit.

 

Edited to add: some incidental efficiency gains aside, I just can't see how instantaneous electric heating is going to be price competitive with the gas it's replacing. Bear in mind that if it's instantaneous, you can't take advantage of cheap off-peak power.    

 

Exactly the same argument used by the likes of Fischer to sell you expensive posh looking electric panel heaters to replace your "old fashioned" storage heaters. And plenty of people buy them.

 

And then complain their electricity bill has gone up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Exactly the same argument used by the likes of Fischer to sell you expensive posh looking electric panel heaters to replace your "old fashioned" storage heaters. And plenty of people buy them.

 

And then complain their electricity bill has gone up.

 

As with panel heaters, everything is carefully worded to be literally accurate while misleading the unskilled reader. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, jack said:

 

As with panel heaters, everything is carefully worded to be literally accurate while misleading the unskilled reader. 

Aka Snake Oil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

Hydrogen is the answer, we are going to need massive over capacity of wind generation to cope with quiet weather days and deal with the flakyness of end-of-life nuke powerstations. Given that currently the wind farms are paid to feather their blades some nights to prevent excess power in the grid we may as well direct the surplus power to hydrogen production plants.

Headache with that is that as soon as you've got a bit of hydrogen it's really easy to burn it in gas turbines to cope with nil-wind days. Using hydrogen for heating as well means vastly more wind turbines are needed than heat pumps with hydrogen backup for the grid during calm periods - it's a very expensive solution as a result, unless you derive it from fossil gas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

feather their blades some nights to prevent excess power in the grid we may as well direct the surplus power to hydrogen production plants.

Or a much cheaper option is to top up E7/10 stores, which is already done, and pay people to take the power.

I take it you could not be bothered to read the report I posted up. Why let facts and figures get in the way if an opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SteamyTea said:

Or a much cheaper option is to top up E7/10 stores, which is already done, and pay people to take the power.

 

 

The people decided 30 years ago that E7 + storage radiators is a failed concept, why waste brain cycles on this? Normal humans do not want to be cooked at 3am and shivering by 8pm.

 

There are more important matters to debate.

  1. All our nuclear power generation capacity is due to be retired over the next 11 years with one new station arriving 5 years from now.
  2. The French have canned further euro power links post Brexit.
  3. Gas power stations keep the lights on when the wind stops mid winter but only just.
  4. The easy wins in domestic power efficiency have been banked, with EVs and ASHP demand will now rise.
  5. Natural gas central heating will be legislated and taxed to extinction over the next 10 years.
  6. An ASHP is barely viable in a house built to a scraping 2013 regs pass.

What is your plan to keep a family of 4 living in 1000 sq ft 1985 vintage 3 bed home warm in 2030, candle power excluded.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this