Upcoming Meetings & Conferences

The Netherlands

TNO - Implementation of PI Technologies

15 April - 2011


EUROTHERM Seminar 92

17-21 April - 2011


INFUB, Industrial Furnaces & Boilers

26-29 April - 2011

The United Kingdom

IChemE – European Process Intensification Conf

20-23 June - 2011


MNF2011, 3rd Micro and Nano Flows Conference

22-24 August - 2011

The United Kingdom

UK Heat Transfer Conference

30 August - 1 September - 2011


8th Int. Seminar on Heat Pipes, Heat Pumps etc.

12-15 September - 2011

Data from the Carbon Trust

Domestic CHP – Progress at Ceres Power

The Need for Domestic CHP
The Government aims to cut UK carbon emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Using energy more efficiently in the home will be crucial in meeting this target as residential property currently accounts for around 25% of total carbon emissions. Energy efficiency measures also help to address fuel poverty and energy security. Domestic CHP systems that use fuel cell technology to generate electricity and to provide heat for hot water and space heating would help to cut carbon emissions.

The Results of this Project
This project, led by Ceres Power, developed a prototype, compact fuel cell CHP system designed to provide hot water and heating, as well as electricity for a typical UK family home.

Using Ceres Power's solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, the project involved designing innovative systems, integrating the components and looking systematically at the cost/performance benefits of engineering changes. Ceres Power worked closely with its key suppliers to ensure the size and weight of the fuel cell would be suitable to use in a wall-mountable commercial CHP system. The prototype also confirmed the unit could meet the target width of 600 mm, enabling it to be hung between standard kitchen units (a crucial factor for mass adoption in the UK domestic market).

The project partners developed the product specification taking into account customer needs and requirements for installation and servicing. Development of the integrated prototype helped to improve the performance of the CHP system to meet key specification targets such as power output and start-up time. Test measurements agreed with predictions from computer-aided engineering models, providing further confidence in the design.

A CHP system based on this SOFC technology could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from a UK household by up to 2.5 tonnes/year. That's up to 40% less carbon emissions from an average home.

Market Potential
The unit is designed to be used in the home and be wall-mountable to enable mass market replacement of conventional boilers and hence widespread carbon reduction.

The project expects market share to grow rapidly as, according to a Government study, around 5,000,000 CHP systems with a similar power output could be installed in the UK by 2020. There are additional significant markets outside the UK as over 70% of the boilers sold in western Europe are wall-mountable. There are also new business opportunities for UK suppliers arising from supply chain development for the fuel cell module and other components.

Pulsed Power for Industrial Processing

In this project, e2v led a consortium of industrial and academic partners to develop a highly efficient, radio frequency, pulsed power system for industrial processing (HiPPoS). The initial aim was to make a major reduction in electricity demand by heavy industrial processes that use pulsed power (big, quick pulses of energy) at radio frequency.

One obvious application is the minerals industry, which uses electricity to break down ores in order to extract precious minerals. Here, the project forecast energy savings of a whopping 60%.

New Direction
However, the consortium conducted a market survey which revealed that there was greater demand from heavy industrial users for efficient generation of continuous power (non-pulsed power). So the project pursued improvements in both types of radio frequency power, with the target of providing solutions for both markets.

The consortium combined the latest high frequency power conversion R&D from the University of Nottingham, Dynex Semiconductors' class-leading power control and conditioning technology, and e2v's range of industrial radio frequency and microwave generators.

It predicts that adoption of this radio frequency process technology, by even a small number of the users within the large industrial process sector, will significantly improve process yields while reducing electricity demand and CO2 emissions.

Market Potential
The University of Nottingham calculated that even a few percentage points' improvement in efficiency of processes using pulsed radio frequency power would avoid huge amounts of electricity being generated. For example, the mineral processing sector could save 250GWh of electricity each year.

Additionally, the university anticipates a similar reduction in electrical demand for non-pulsed radio frequency power in the oil, waste processing and recycling industries, making a total of about 500GWh per year. This is equivalent to the electricity consumed by about 250,000 UK residents.

"Without this investment, we would not have discovered the much bigger continuous wave power market that changed our direction."
- e2v

Next Steps
The consortium is now concentrating on developing the demonstrator that will pull together all the elements of the technology into a device that is suitable for industrial users.

In the long term, there is potential to exploit this innovation as an advanced enabling technology for generating electricity using nuclear fusion. The HiPPoS consortium expects fusion power research to radically alter how we generate a sustainable supply of 'green' electricity in the future.

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