A British company has launched an innovative boiler that could totally change the way people pay for their energy and heat their homes.
The Flow boiler provides both hot water and heat for the flats and apartments it is installed in but, on top of that, it also produces electric energy that can power household appliances.
It aims at covering several energy needs with one single energy source, potentially allowing customers to generate their own power inside their homes. The more people will be able to generate electricity on their own, the less demand there will be on the national grid.
Flow believes that its boiler can reduce a household's emissions by 20%.
By switching electricity sources from an external service to the Flow boiler, a family can save up to £80 a month, according to the developers.
Here is how it works: In a traditional boiler, gas is burned to heat water, which then passes through the home's pipes and radiators.
The Flow boiler instead uses the gas to heat a high-pressure liquid coolant that is sealed inside the system. The vapour created then moves through a dynamo called a "scroll expander," which spins and acts as a mini electric generator.
The hot vapor then moves through a heat exchanger, heating up the hot water for the house. The vapor returns to the boiler as the hot water is pumped around the house.
The Flow is using gas from the national grid to do two jobs (create heat and drive a turbine) where a normal boiler does one, in other words.
The product was 10 years in development. Flow CEO Tony Stiff is looking forward to seeing how it performs in the market. "I think it is a game-changer for a family," he said to Business Insider.
Stiff said that the company has stocked up interests for 15,000 boilers prior to launch, but the company has the capacity to produce 200,000 units per year. If that is the case, the company will be able to hire 700 people at its headquarters in Ipswich, the Ipswich Star reports.
The boilers are also produced in the UK: in Livingston, Scotland, by the American manufacturer Jabil.
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