Making Heating Systems More Self-Reliant

March 26, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
ATLANTA, GA — At the 2001 ASHRAE Winter Meeting, Roy Albrecht of the New York State Energy Research and Develop-ment Authority (NYSERDA, Albany, NY) chaired an informative session titled “Self-Powered Heating Systems: Saving Electric-ity and Improving Reliability.” Albrecht noted, “With the California energy crisis, this subject has taken on more importance.”

Discussing the evolution of self-powered appliances, David Brown-ell of Yankee Scientific, Inc. (Medfield, MA) talked about heaters that produce their own power, generators that also produce heat, and battery-powered appliances.

Self-powered systems are attractive because deregulation has made the grid less reliable while dependence on electricity has been increasing, said Brownell.

Developments in process include low-pressure steam-powered room heaters that require no electric power and a low-pressure steam air handler that connects to a standard steam boiler. Small thermoelectric generators (TEG) have led to a TEG-powered, pressurized hot water heater.

A liquid-injected cogeneration warm air furnace and a battery backup system for boilers are also on the horizon.

New technology, he said, will bring mid- to high-power applications to market.

Richard Oman of Insight Technologies, Inc. (Bohemia, NY) talked about creating a practical oil-fired heating system with reduced electric power consumption and battery backup.

The 12-vdc permanent magnet motor doubles efficiency, while the fan is an improved design. The prototype burner developed cuts electrical power tenfold, Oman stated. Using 12- vdc components allows standalone operation with survival heating levels of about 24 hrs.

Brownell also provided a presentation on the development of liquid-injected cogeneration for the home. Micro-cogeneration provides residential-scale heat and power. Power is extracted from combustion products before heat is supplied for end use. The system uses a mono-tube instantaneous liquid heater with 3 oz. of totally contained hot water.

Such a system, he asserted, will be able to provide 100% of the required heat in a home, and nearly eliminate the homeowner’s electric bill in wintertime. It produces electric power with less than half the fuel and CO2 emissions of central power plants.

Finally, Thomas Butcher of Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, NY) spoke on thermophotovoltaics. When you generate electric power in this way, you have to control the light spectrum that hits the photovoltaic cells. Light goes from the emitter to a filter, with a narrow band going to the cells.

A lot of work is being put into optimizing the filter, Butcher said. In testing to date, the system is producing a few watts per square centimeter. Researchers expect to greatly increase that. Improvements being developed include a 4 to 1 concentrating prism.

Publication date: 03/26/2001

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Greg Mazurkiewicz

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson,an experienced trade school and community college instructor, discusses the HVAC industry and his column in The NEWS, ‘The Service Ticket.’ Listen now for a hint to the Not Enough Heat question from the Dec. 15 issue. Posted Jan. 30.

More Podcasts


NEWS 01-26-15 cover

2015 January 26

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Regional Standards

With regional standards for a/c equipment going into effect in 2015, how do you think it will impact the industry?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con