HERU system accelerates development amidst dramatic emissions analysis
Hybrid boilers which combine small-scale waste to energy units and conventional fuel have moved a step closer to production for domestic and commercial use, its developers have reported.
The HERU system uses pyrolysis and a proprietary heat pipe to convert home waste to power, by allowing plastics, nappies, coffee cups and food to be turned into energy that can be used to fuel domestic boilers, via pyrolysis.
Over the next few months, the HERU will be undergoing technical trials at UK sites ahead of a move to the mass market. This latter development is being further accelerated in partnership with the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre, with trials supported by boiler giant Baxi, along with Worcestershire County Council, Wychavon District Council and Rugby Borough Council.
The system has also received a significant boost following an independent report that suggested it is significantly lower in emissions than ‘conventional’ recycling at the roadside or at a materials recovery facility.
The report from Ricardo Energy & Environment undertook a life cycle assessment of the HERU and found that it has 68 per cent less global warming impact than co-mingled collections and 32 per cent less than kerbside collections.
When the system is powered by solar energy it has seven times lower global warming impact than co-mingled collections and five times lower than kerbside collections, the manufacturer said.
Nik Spencer, inventor of the HERU, said: “Climate change and global warming is something that will continue to affect us all and solutions, such as the HERU, provide viable technology to start addressing these stark environmental global issues that are then further enhanced when combined with energy technologies, such as solar.”
He said: “The opportunities for householders and businesses are truly profound. There is the potential for forward-thinking companies to adopt the HERU first and help lead the way in changing our relationship with the valuable resources around us.”
Homes that are duel fuelled by HERU-generated energy are estimated to save the average household 1,200 kg of CO2, the firm said.
Dean Baker, director of the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre s Business Launch Centre, said, “Nik and his team have developed a revolutionary machine which will have a tremendous impact on our environment, and with the support of the MTC we can succeed in bringing it to full market readiness. Using our product incubation centre we can create a collaborative environment to bring together product designers, engineers, digital modelling and prototyping facilities to make market-seeding HERU units for evaluation.”