Intelligent self-adjusted boiler for an environment-friendly life

New boiler capable of working with any of the gas families (nat gas and lpg) as well as with biogas and hydrogenated mixtures of the aforementioned gases, compensating for gas composition variations,gas pressure,mains voltage and clogging.

The problem of improving the efficiency and minimizing the environmental impact (reduction of CO2 and pollutant gases) of household heating and hot sanitary water production is dealt with in this project with the aim of providing direct benefits to our quality life and health, as well as preserving the environment and natural resources. The ISABEL project is aimed at developing a highly innovative household gas boiler for the Hydrogen Society: capable of shelf-adapting to any of the present gaseous fuels as well as to biogas, hydrogen and hydrogenated mixtures of any of them, ensuring very high efficiency and very clean combustion with minimum pollutant emissions under every working condition. Moreover, the new condensing heat cell will provide boiler manufacturers with the definitive system for producing 'all gas' future boilers, eliminating the need for creating a version of any boiler model for each of the gas families. The design and prototyping of a new gas-fired condensing heat cell boiler is based on the development of new ceramic premixed burners capable of working with all of the aforementioned gases and a sensor-driven pre-mixing apparatus, capable of modulating the heat power with a very high turndown ratio and accommodating any variation of the boiler's working conditions: voltage in the mains, gas supply pressure, air-fumes system clogging, and gas family and composition (aeration requirement for combustion). The proposed ISABEL boiler will guarantee a basic heat power of about 2.5 kW (Kilowatt) (for heating a well-insulated new building) and a maximum power output of 25 kW for rapid and efficient hot sanitary water production. High power turndown will offset the need for hot water hold-up (entailing a 20 % energy saving with no penalty for users' comfort) and allow easy integration with renewable sources (hydrogen, biogas, etc.). Both these issues will help to achieve the long-term goal of a 50% reduction of non-renewable energy usage and CO2 emissions in domestic appliances as well as helping to double the share of renewable from 6% today to 12% in 2010 (Council Resolution on renewable energies of 8 June 1998). In the medium-term, the ISABEL boilers will also contribute significantly to achieving the Kyoto objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 8%. Beyond prototypes of boilers and key innovative components (premix ceramic burner, gas valve, air-gas mixer, gas and air flow sensors, gas family sensor, gas quality sensor, high-modulation control system, heat exchanger, hydraulic block, etc.), a crucial outcome of the present project will be a final test on the performance of the ISABEL boiler in a real building. Starting from the final test, the development of the product will be carried out well beyond the end of the project so as to achieve timely penetration into the market for this technology. In the latter context, the target is a prototype boiler unit price not exceeding 1,500 euro so as to achieve a reasonable payback period (estimated at 3 years) compared to conventional boilers. Six partners (5 industrial, including 3 SMEs and 1 private research centre) will work together according to a clustered workplan divided into three different sub-programmes (1. ceramic burner development; 2. air-gas mixture preparation system and boiler accessories development; 3. ISABEL boiler design, assembly and test), each divided into rationally integrated workpackages. IKERLAN, a Spanish technological research centre with vast experience in the development of boilers and combustion systems, will coordinate the project. Each partner will primarily work in its respective field of expertise (ranging from burner design to ceramic burner development, from pre-mixing system to heat exchanger development, from sensors development to boiler control hardware and software, from prototype boiler design and assembly to its testing in suitably equipped laboratories) in a complementary effort with no overlapping of the work carried out by the other partners. Beyond industrial component manufacturers, the partnership includes an end-user of the ISABEL condensing heat cell technology (namely: TRANSCALOR), who will ensure an efficient and rapid launching of this product onto the market. To demonstrate the European dimension of the project, the partners come from SPAIN: IKERLAN (IK), ORKLI (OR), TRANSCALOR (TR) and PROSIDER (PR), and ITALY: NORDGAS (NG) and TECHNOSYSTEM (TS), countries in which domestic heating and sanitary water by household gas combi boilers is nowadays well established and growing fast. The industrial nature of most partners will assure a critical mass of private funding. The research is clearly pre-normative: the ISABEL boiler will indeed provide a standard for low emission and high efficiency, while meeting the high-modulation requirements underlined above. Furthermore, as far as employment perspectives are concerned, it is believed that the success of the ISABEL boiler technology will impact positively and see growth in an industrial sector employing nowadays about 200,000 people for the production of more than 5 million boilers at a European level. The high-tech level and the competitive price of the ISABEL boilers will allow for the expansion of the market potential even outside Europe (e.g. North America, exploitation of the wide natural gas resources of South America) with a direct benefit to employment. Finally, spin-offs can be expected in other application fields (low-to-medium power combustion systems for industrial application, cooktops, gas ovens, high-power boilers, catering appliances, etc.). The work to be carried out in the project has been split into 9 Work Packages (WP), each of them having a WP leader (the first one) and participants: 0. Project coordination (IK, all). 1. Boiler and components' specification setting (IK, NG, TS, TR). 2. Design and development of the system for air and gas supply, monitoring, control and mixture: gas valve, fan, gas and air flow sensor, gas family sensor, gas quality sensor and air-gas mixer (NG, OR). 3. 'All gas' ceramic premix burner design and development (PR, IK). 4. Compact hydraulic system development for space heating and hot sanitary water: compact condensing heat exchanger and hydraulic block (OR, TR). 5. Design and development of the boiler's monitoring and control system (TS, IK). 6. Design and development of a compact condensing heat cell: burner and combustion chamber, heat exchanger and fumes collector. (IK, TR). 7. Components integration to produce the functional boiler prototype for tests (TR, NG, OR). 8. Boiler prototype test in laboratory with reference and limit gases (IK). 9. Boiler prototype performance test in DOMOLAB, during three months of the heating season. (IK) The project will start in July 2004 and will last until the end of 2006, with an estimated duration of 30 months. Keywords: ISABEL, shelf-adjusted, all-gas.
Project ID: 
3 368
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 260 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Furnace technology, construction of heating boilers
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.