Microwaves could be one way for the UK’s boilers to go green, says energy tech company Heat Wayv, which has unveiled its plans for a microwave boiler that it says could reduce CO2 emissions from our homes by up to 24 per cent.
The boilers are in engineering design now and are not available yet but the company is aiming to have them ready for installation before 2025, the year in which fitting gas boilers in new-build homes will be banned in England.
Heat Wayv says the appliances heat water using the same microwave technology that is already used in more than 90 per cent of homes. With a similar overall size, cost and throughput to current gas boilers, it’s aimed to be a plumb-in replacement for existing gas boilers.
“The end of the gas boiler is inevitable and scheduled,” says co-founder Phil Stevens. “But the proposed replacement technologies do not work for consumers as they are either too expensive to install or too expensive to run. We looked for a clean technology where the boiler would cost the consumer the same to buy, same to install and same to run as a gas boiler.
“The answer is the microwave boiler as it is a trusted technology in our homes already and one that can be brought to market before the 2025 gas boiler shut-down begins.”
The boilers are also designed to be networked into an IoT (Internet of Things) configuration, where they could be used collectively as a national battery at times of oversupply from renewable energy such as wind, and where excess electrical energy could be stored as hot water for later use.
“With the UK moving rapidly towards electrification to meet the demands for an expansion of electric vehicle charging and the need to decarbonise the home, we knew that we had to provide a solution that quickly and safely meets this agenda as well as delivering plug-and-play simplicity to enable ease of transition.”
Co-founder Paul Atherton adds: “As the UK and the world move to renewable energy, we need to have appliances that are zero emissions in the home but also connected so that the devices can work intelligently with the grid.”
How it works
The microwave boiler uses technology similar to that found in kitchen microwave ovens: the boiler uses a specific frequency to transfer energy to individual water molecules and so heat the water.
A combination of sequential pulse-width modulation and specialist materials provide what is effectively continuous heating but using less power.
A multi-blade assembly heats the water through a proprietary system where flow rates are determined by sensors and AI-based controllers, ensuring consistent temperature. Where energy is inevitably lost to the surroundings, a turbo-charge approach recycles this energy back into heating the water. The boiler claims an overall energy efficiency of 96 per cent.