Friday, October 14, 2005

White book on electric heating

GIFAM, a French association of 60 manufacturers of home appliances has issued a white book on electric heating applications in the home, outlining some of the advantages of modern electric heating systems:
  • no emissions at the point of use (in addition - for France - low emissions in production)
  • 100% efficient at the point of use: electricity as an energy carrier can be fully converted to heat
  • safety: electricity has an impressive safety track record
  • simplicity, maintenance-free: electric heating systems have a long lifetime and do not need annual maintenance
  • ease of use, comfortable, clean
  • easy to control, flexible: electrons can be used to control electrons. Heat can be controlled to be issued exactly at the point where needed, in the quantity needed.


Obviously, there is no worse method than electric heating for poorly insulated dwellings in a cold climate using a carbon-intensive electricity system. However, this situation applies only to a small fraction of dwellings in Europe. Apart from this, a few other observations can be made:
  • Electric heating and insulation go hand in hand. Dwellings are usually built with a fixed budget, without margin for the owner. The cost reduction of the heating system can be invested in good insulation, and ventilation.
  • (Electric) heat can be stored with 95% efficiency, compared to 50% for hydrogen, and 70-85% for batteries. In this way, electric heat can assist deep penetration of intermittent renewables.
  • Electric heating allows to serve all energy services in a dwelling with a single energ carrier.
  • Modern power stations can convert up to 60% of the primary energy content of fossil fuel into electricity.
Finally, dwellings are becoming more compact, with smaller family units, in increasingly urban environments. To heat a well insulated, totaly enclosed compact dwelling, there is no better method than electricity. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that low-temperature electric heating is the fastest growing application of electricity in the US.
View white book (in French)

1 comment:

mjm-mma said...

Also could remember some of the other points we have discussed in recent project work:

temperature control and cycling. (Process integration in the home)

degradation resulting from exposure to high temperatures

the thermal mass of appliances

emission of water vapour at the point of use

size of footprint of systems and appliances in the home or office

wastage, costs and dangers associated with wet heating systems

scope for expanding the point of use concept to new families of appliances

wider choice of tariffs and suppliers in deregulated market.