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Compact porous medium burner and heat exchanger for household applications

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A breakthrough heating device

The typical operation of a contemporary heating system is currently based on combustion, a process in which fossil fuel reacts with oxygen to provide heat. Normally, these devices are extremely large in volume, very limited in the power range supply and release highly toxic substances, such as nitrogen oxides. Due to its low emissions and the wide-ranged power control, a newly developed small sized device for the delivery of heat and/or hot water may be extensively used for a variety of household and industrial applications.

Energy

The device depends on a new combustion technique for both gaseous and liquid fuels and consists of a novel porous medium burner along with an integrated heat exchanger. Unlike the typical catalytic combustor, where the combustion propagation takes place as a free flame, its operation is based on combustion within the pores of an inactive porous medium. The medium’s properties enable the achievement of a stable burning process that allows the production of a high power density with very small amounts of emission products. In order to reduce heat losses, the heat exchanger has also been incorporated in the porous medium resulting in high heat transport rates. Therefore, the integrated set of the burner and the heat exchanger constitutes an extremely efficient, compact and integrated system. In comparison to current household heating systems the new compact gas burner and heat exchanger units offer more advantages. Firstly, they are 10-15 times smaller in volume than the existing systems. Secondly, the novel material burner presents a variety of operations resulting in the wide-ranged power control that is necessary for household heating purposes. Thirdly, its excellent emission values are directly comparable to current gas burners, and can be additionally improved with respect to its proper operation. Finally, the stability of the burning process is assured independently of gas mixture properties and air/fuel ratios. Various burner prototypes for different thermal heat loads that have been developed and tested exert the same advantages when used for heating purposes. According to their design, they may also be used for provision of hot water or steam. Exceeding fuel combustion, a preliminary prototype has also been developed for oil combustion purposes and has satisfactorily operated within a power range of 1kW up to 15kW. The entire system possesses unique control units that allow its safe, comfortable and efficient use for a long period of time. Due to its flexibility in use and its numerous advantages, this novel combustion technique is a significant breakthrough in the field with the potential to affect the future of household and industrial heating systems in Europe for the benefit of consumers.

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