Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovative Generator Could Spark Energy Savings

Date:
August 24, 2006
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
An innovative residential generator that can produce both heat and electricity could spark a revolution in energy efficiency, said Eric Guyer (S.M. 1974, Sc.D. 1977), the CEO of Climate Energy, during an MIT Energy Club talk recently. Guyer described Climate Energy's micro-combined heat and power unit (micro-CHP) to the standing-room-only crowd gathered in the Tang Center as "hopefully, the next big thing in energy."

MIT graduate student Bryan Urban, left, and alumnus Phil LaFond, who works for Climate Energy, look over one of the company's residential generators, which produces both heat and electricity.
Credit: Photo Dan Bersak

An innovative residential generator that can produce both heat and electricity could spark a revolution in energy efficiency, said Eric Guyer (S.M. 1974, Sc.D. 1977), the CEO of Climate Energy, during an MIT Energy Club talk recently.

Related Articles


Guyer described Climate Energy's micro-combined heat and power unit (micro-CHP) to the standing-room-only crowd gathered in the Tang Center as "hopefully, the next big thing in energy."

Guyer's talk was part of the Energy Club's lecture and discussion series, sponsored by the Graduate Student Council. These biweekly events occur year-round and feature lecturers or student-led discussions on important energy topics.

The idea for combined heat and power (CHP) is nothing new, Guyer said. "Thomas Edison's first power plant was combined," he explained. Still, the idea of generating both heat and energy in a way that is not only affordable but also quiet enough for use in a private home is a more recent development.

"On an industrial scale, CHP is used all the time," Guyer said. A natural gas-powered micro-CHP unit has the potential to save the consumer money by using the same fuel they buy anyway to generate both heat and electricity with greater efficiency.

The micro-CHP systems are driven by heat-demand, delivering electricity as the byproduct. "This is all about providing thermal comfort to homeowners," Guyer said.

The unit is composed of two parts, one that acts as the generator and another that acts as a traditional air-handler or furnace, blowing hot air into the home.

Currently being used in close to 30,000 homes in Japan and 20 beta test spots around Massachusetts and New York, the micro-CHPs have been very well received. Although the initial cost is more than double that of a traditional furnace, the micro-CHPs can save users up to $700 a year in electric bills, Guyer said. They even come with a backup power supply if the electricity goes out for any reason.

The machines also have the advantage of being far superior at conservation, Guyer said. "Two-thirds of the power in a central station is thrown away," he explained. The micro-CHP utilizes more than 85 percent. "Micro-CHP in the home is one of the biggest things someone could do to reduce their carbon footprint."

Outside the Tang Center, a truck from Guyer's company, Climate Energy, was running free demonstrations of its micro-CHP unit, which will be available this fall. "So far people seem very happy," Guyer said.

"Many were surprised to see how quiet the generator was and how much heat it produced that could be used for space heating," said graduate student Derek Supple of the MIT Energy Club. "The talk was just as we intended: relevant to a broad group of disciplines and exciting due to the innovative nature of this residential-scale technology."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Innovative Generator Could Spark Energy Savings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822173021.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2006, August 24). Innovative Generator Could Spark Energy Savings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822173021.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Innovative Generator Could Spark Energy Savings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822173021.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 26, 2015) — Dutch scientists have developed a smart bicycle that uses sensors, wireless technology and video to warn riders of traffic dangers. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) — Robot dogs are the perfect pet for some in Japan who go to repairmen-turned-vets when their pooch breaks down - while a full Buddhist funeral ceremony awaits those who don&apos;t make it. Duration: 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) — Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) — Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins