Microgrids for combined heat, electricity and cooling from wastes

About Solution

Availability of continuous supply of electricity is synonymous with economic and social development of a region. While most of the urban areas have access to electricity but a vast proportion of electricity usage is associated with maintaining space temperatures for heating or cooling thus straining the local electric grids for energy usage which can otherwise be met from waste heat utilisation. The smart micro-grid based on waste to combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) will address the energy needs for economic development with a diversification of product outputs. The whole system is capable to be fueled by waste residues generated by the local population or from local industries. This will address a number of issues related to environmental pollution, waste management and energy insecurity or un-availability by local resource utilisation, high energy conversion efficiency greater than 68%, low carbon footprint and sustainable development.

Shown in the youtube link is one of our first prototype which we built and it can use a variety of waste residues including plastics, MSW, biomass wastes as well as purpose grown energy crops. This is a continuous downdraft gasifier which is fuelled by wastes and the end products are electricity and heat. Depending on the quality of feedstock waste minimisation is as high as 95% by weight. The combined energy efficiency is greater than 68%. We have successfully produced a fuelgas (syngas) which is made of carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour. This gas is further cleaned by high temperature filters and then used in an engine to produce electricity and the resulting exhaust gas is passed through a heat recovery unit at 90 Celsius for heating and cooling through absorption cooling. We conducted further research and now have established two units at 50 kWel (kilowatts of electricity) and 500 kWel while producing twice as much waste heat from each unit for utilisation in heating and cooling applications. We are now looking for up-scaling and integrating our system with absorption cooling so we can bring the benefits of high energy efficiency of this combined system to mass market globally. Our research also shows that such small scale systems are perfect at economy of scale for small towns and villages where there is no electricity or it is not continuously available. Furthermore, at these scales, locally sourced waste residues do not have to incur long distance transportation (thus high transport CO2 emissions savings) thus further enhancing the sustainable development potential as well as providing benefits to local communities due to associated employment. Such a smart grid will provide all the energy necessary for locals for domestic and business use as well as in the future it can be used to charge and discharge electric vehicles as and when needed. This is a future proof system and not a solution for just now. This is a true example of low carbon energy system for masses.

Such an integrated system is built in modules which are deployed in appropriate locations with minimal disruptions to local communities during construction. The system is robust and has very little dependence on externally procured consumables and all the ongoing maintenance is done by using local materials and people. The manpower required to run such a system is very low (2 hours of a trained operator per day) thus having a greater availability. We are now seeking funding and collaboration within your consortium of partners to deliver these benefits across the globe within our lifetime and not later in future. We want to do it now. We share the necessity and will leave a legacy for future generations that we done something good for them. Our aim is to further refine the integrated system in our labs in UK before we deploy an integrated system in a challenging use environment. We want to use local waste to convert it into usable energy for local people for local benefits and at the same time provide jobs and reduce pollution from wastes locally. We have done our homework already and need your support to transfer the benefits to all and truly address the triple bottom line of sustainability by means of environmental, social and economic benefits. We need us all together for this project to make a positive difference in the lives of common person.

We have gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience on energy and chemicals from wastes during the involvement with various European Union projects while working at prominent UK institutions. We have learnt that applied engineering of new innovations are mostly accelerated by private companies when the business is sustainable on long term basis. Hence we set up Eco Research Ltd in UK. We are a team of engineers, scientists, technicians, accountants and project managers. We have got together to apply our knowledge and experiences to benefit the global population by taking our research out from our labs into the big wider world. We want to build our next modular unit of 500 kWel and then upscale our production capability by recruiting more people and doubling our manufacturing capability every year by starting with 4 units each from year 2020. We have a long way to go and the mission is not impossible as we are very committed to transfer our research into benefits for common person globally. Are you with us? We are not just waiting but continuing to work and your support will only accelerate our progress to bring the benefits to locals sooner rather than later. Keep monitoring us, we are onto something big or be part of our success story. 



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