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U.K. utility to offer electricity-generating boilers

Marc Perton
natural gas flame

Looks like it must be the time for utility companies to prove their tech cred. No sooner did we check out the news that a startup plans to help gas companies offer broadband over gas, than we learned that U.K.-based utility Powergen plans to offer customers home heating boilers that can also generate electricity. The boiler — based on the same concepts as the 1816 Stirling engine — uses gas to heat water for household use, and at the same time powers an external combustion engine composed of a series of pistons that power a generator. Excess capacity can be fed back into the electrical grid, reducing home energy costs by up to 20%, according to Powergen. Similar combined heat and power (CHP) units have been used in industrial locations, but the market for home-based Micro CHPs is just taking off; in addition to Powergen, British Gas is also testing a Micro CHP for home use.

[Via Treehugger]

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