CDP’s TC3 solid state energy device generates electrical current from heat, solar and geothermal sources
Clean Development Projects Limited (CDP), based in Hertford, have designed, built and successfully tested a prototype solid state energy device (SSE) which the company intend to develop commercially. The TC3 device generated more than 4 watts of electrical power from one normal sized cup of coffee and has been developed to generate electricity initially from waste industrial heat as well as solar and geothermal sources. It is also intended as a competitor or complement to organic Rankine cycle systems (ORC) which utilise waste heat from industrial sources to produce electricity and which are often used in cogeneration plants.
The TC3 employs well known thermoelectric effects to generate current from heat at temperatures ranging from 20°C through to 300°C or more. In tests, 4W was generated from hot water cooling from 90°C down to 20°C and in other tests the device has generated current directly from solar energy. CDP claim that the TC3 supercedes ORC devices in a number of ways including the ability to produce a significant commercial increase in thermal efficiency while possessing an improved life expectancy due to the lack of moving parts alongside reduced maintenance costs.
The device can efficiently utilize heat from power plant cooling systems and waste heat from a number of industrial processes including ceramics, metals, data centres, glass manufacturing and the food industry. It may also be suitable for deployment as supplementary electrical generation in vehicles drawing on heat from exhaust and cooling systems and can also draw on geothermal and solar energy.
As well as generating electricity the TC3 can also perform cooling services by extracting thermal energy from fluids in the generation of electrical energy.
“We are excited by this development and anticipate developing some of the greenest, cleanest power plants around the world” said CDP’s Managing Director, Parvez Hamid. “The goal is ultimate sustainability, efficient use of energy sources and recovering those currently not utilized by industry.”
The company is planning to construct a commercial scale (over 1kW) demonstration device in early 2013 which it will then use to market SSE technology globally.