Research team develops energy prototype to increase energy efficiency

Increased energy efficiency

ORNL and Enginuity researchers have demonstrated that a micro-combined thermal and power prototype, or mCHP, with an opposing piston engine can achieve an overall energy efficiency of more than 93%. The eco-friendly mCHP can replace a backup generator or a traditional water heater. Credit: ORNL, US Department of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, in collaboration with Enginuity Power Systems, have demonstrated that a prototype micro-combining heat and electricity (mCHP) with a piston engine can achieve high energy efficiency overall amount greater than 93%.

Designed to replace backup generators or traditional gas water heaters, the mCHP switches between nature Airhydrogen and biogas, and combine battery storage and solar energy.

The researchers evaluated an mCHP using a four-stroke opposite-piston engine. It is eco-friendly and cost-effective as the wasted heat will be captured and reused to provide thermal energy on a small scale for a building in a single process. This allows for greater efficiency than conventional single-function devices.

“The results exceeded expectations,” said Zhiming Gao of ORNL. “Even without providing heat, in lean burn mode, this mCHP shows 35% more electrical energy efficiency.”

This innovation can accelerate use in small residential areas and commercial prescription for remote and underserved communities.

More information:
Zhiming Gao et al, Development and testing of residential micro-CHP powered by counter-piston engine, (2023). DOI: 10.2172/1963144 ,

quote: Energy prototype development team to increase energy efficiency (2023, June 8) accessed June 9, 2023 from team-power-prototype-boost-energy.html

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