Upgrading existing gas heating systems to enhance sustainability
Many existing buildings, whether residential or non-residential, are fitted with a gas fired boiler (often an ‘improved efficiency or ‘high-efficiency’ boiler) to provide central heating and hot water. The most recent development (2009) is the intelligent ‘High-Efficiency Electricity-generating’ (HRe) boiler which also generates electricity using a Stirling engine. Versions incorporating fuel cell technology are currently in development.
The HRe boiler generates electricity in a very efficient manner. That electricity can then be used in the same building, with any excess production supplied to the local or national grid.
Unique Selling Points
• The new micro co-generator boiler has an extremely high energy yield and is therefore very efficient.
• This is a unique and innovative concept, unrivalled anywhere in the world.
• The concept provides (partial) independence from the conventional electricity supply.
• The concept can be applied in virtually any building (creating a good replacement market).
By virtue of its combined generation of heat and electricity, the HRe boiler consumes far less fuel per kWh than a large generating station which does not make use of the residual heat. As a result, CO2 emission per kWh of such a boiler in the Netherlands is approximately 50% lower than when all electricity is derived from the national grid.
In the case of the average (Dutch) household, CO2 emissions will be cut by some 20%.
Market parties and research institutes
Baxi, Bosch, Daalderop, Eneco, Essent Retail Service, Enatec, GasTerra, Kiwa Gastec, Liander, MTS Group (Ariston), Nefit, Remeha, Smart Power Foundation, Enatec, Vaillant, Vieschmann, and WhisperGen (NB This list is not comprehensive)
Best practice reference projects in the Netherlands
• Groningen: pilot project involving 25 HRe boilers (also intelligent networking research)
• Kerkrade (residential district): pilot project involving 45 Vaillant HRe boilers
• Apeldoorn (Woudhuis district): large-scale pilot project involving 200 Remeha HRe boilers (also intelligent networking research)
• Ameland: demonstration project with 100 MTS Group (Ariston) HRe boilers (2009)
Possible obstacles to international business
• Lack of familiarity with this unique concept
• Regular monitoring is required during usage phase (part of the business model)
• Acceptance of ‘total cost of ownership’ principle on the part of consumers
• Lack of expertise on the part of installation companies