Circulation pumps are used to circulate hot water from central heating boilers around radiators and hot water tanks. According to a leading manufacturer, “there are over 120 million circulators in the EU consuming 57 TWh, which equals twice the consumption of washing machines in the EU”. This is equivalent to the output of approximately six UK nuclear power stations.
By using waste heat from exhaust/flue gases in fossil fuel fired heating systems, or by tapping some heat from the combustion chamber, NIFTE devices can perform the role of the circulator, dumping their waste heat in radiators, or the cold intake air from outside. Either way, the net energy efficiency of the system is increased, and the need for electricity is circumvented.
Circulators based on NIFTE devices are particularly applicable in stand-alone solar systems, in which the sun’s energy is used to heat water for direct use or for central heating. Currently, solar thermal systems either require a hot water cylinder to be located above, and close to them, or they require an electric circulator pump. NIFTE devices can circulate water around solar collectors using some of the heat harvested from the collectors themselves.
Apart from the huge energy savings that NIFTEs can bring to hot water circulating systems, they can make hydronic heating independent of a mains electricity supply. This could prevent thousands of deaths for hypothermia each year.
We have written a short technical brief (Microsoft Word .doc format) that contains detailed information about the NIFTE circulator pump, and explains carefully how the NIFTE pump would work this application, our current progress and outlines the key development areas that we are currently working on. We have also prepared a shorter 2-page pamphlet (Adobe Portable Document Format .pdf format), which provides some information about Thermofluidics, the NIFTE technology and the solar application. In addition, we have compiled a short comparison (Microsoft Word .doc format) between the NIFTE and a conventional electric pump in this application.