Energy Efficiency

09 Jun 2023

Research Team Develops Power Prototype to Boost Energy Efficiency

09 Jun 2023  by techxplore   
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, in collaboration with Enginuity Power Systems, have demonstrated that a micro-combined heat and power prototype (mCHP) with a piston engine can achieve an overall energy efficiency greater than 93%.

Designed to replace a backup generator or traditional gas hot water heater, the mCHP switches between natural gas, hydrogen and biogas, and combines battery storage and solar energy.

Researchers evaluated an mCHP that uses a four-stroke opposed piston engine. It's environmentally friendly and cost-effective because heat that would otherwise be wasted is captured and reused to provide thermal energy at a small scale for a building in a single process. This allows for a higher efficiency compared to conventional single-functional equipment.

"Results exceeded expectations," said ORNL's Zhiming Gao. "Even without providing heat, in lean burn mode, this mCHP showed more than 35% electrical energy efficiency."

This innovation could accelerate use in small residential and commercial buildings for remote and underserved communities.

More News