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Electric Steam Boilers

Phil53 Member Posts: 73
Was reading some of the treads on electric steam boilers and it seems most on here think it will never happen because there is no demand for the manufacturers to make the investment. The NYC thread shows there is adequate demand, but I agree not enough for a company to take a risk. Why not have the government fund the engineering to develop the electric steam boilers? They bank rolled Elon Musk and they paid for all the research for the coronavirus vaccine, why not an electric steam boiler?


  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 626
    There are electric steam boilers, at least in large commercial/industrial sizes, as well as small enough to generate steam for a bathroom shower. I’ve never seen one in the size needed to heat a home or apartment. There’s probably just been very little demand.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,829
    Electric steam boilers do exist, and exist in sizes which would be suitable for many residential applications. Demand for them is minuscule because in almost all areas of the country the cost of running one is several times running an oil boiler, never mind gas.

    Now the problem arises when we come to the Great Replacement: Unless all the electricity used to power them is "green", they are also worse at converting power at the generating station into usable heat. Indeed, if we are looking at a fossil fuel power plant, three times worse or thereabouts (that is to say, an electric boiler will generate about three times the CO2 emissions that an oil or gas one would. Even the electrify everything crowd gets a bit wobbly when hit with that one.

    What doesn't exist -- and would be very nice to have -- is steam generating heat pumps. Technically feasible, but I haven't seen one on the market yet.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,346
    Yes, they do exist have seen them used to steam a sauna and other applications.

    In a sauna with no return water the electric elements don't last long due to the fresh water added. But they use them in DHW heaters, and they hold up pretty well