The growing mandate for a reliable, affordable, and low-carbon electric grid is driving demand for new power generation technologies that can enable greatly increased use of renewable energy while providing improved resilience against natural disasters, increased flexibility, and lower cost than the electric grid. Mainspring's breakthrough technology, based on research originally conducted by the company's co-founders in a thermodynamics laboratory at Stanford University, is designed to meet these demands by delivering dispatchable, fuel-flexible power that substantially reduces cost and carbon today, while accelerating the transition to the net-zero carbon grid.
The company also announced it has entered a $150 million agreement with NextEra Energy Resources to purchase Mainspring units and finance customer projects starting in the first half of 2021.
"Mainspring is excited to bring our new solution to market with world-class partners like NextEra Energy Resources and our initial Fortune 500 customers," said Shannon Miller, founder and CEO of Mainspring. "Their industry expertise, insights, and validation are valuable assets in meeting our goals: to help our customers reduce electricity costs and carbon output, improve resilience against natural disasters, and accelerate the transition to the net-zero carbon grid of the future."
"Many commercial and industrial customers as well as utilities want clean, reliable power generation, with the capability to switch to 100% renewable fuels like biogas and hydrogen as they become available," said NextEra Energy Resources President and CEO John Ketchum. "Mainspring is able to integrate clean onsite generation with both renewables and the grid and we're pleased to support bringing this innovative product to market."
Onsite power generation provides power where it's needed without the use of the electric grid transmission and distribution infrastructure. Mainspring's generators are designed to produce electricity with utility-scale performance in the size of a parking space, while meeting the strictest emissions standards in the world.
About The Mainspring Linear Generator
A linear generator —distinct from an engine, microturbine, or fuel cell — is a device that directly converts motion along a straight line into electricity using chemical or thermal energy. The design of Mainspring's Linear Generator uses a low-temperature reaction of air and fuel to drive magnets through copper coils to efficiently produce electricity. This innovcative design, combined with the company's proprietary adaptive control software, enables high efficiency, near-zero NOx emissions, full dispatchability, and seamless switching between fuels.
The product achieves low capital and maintenance costs through use of standard materials, only two moving parts, and an innovative air bearing system that eliminates the need for oil. It operates without the use of complex mechanical systems or expensive catalysts.
Because of its use of a low-temperature reaction without burning or a flame, the Mainspring Linear Generator meets the strictest emissions standards in the U.S. This also allows for fast, streamlined permitting.
Mainspring's first commercial product is designed for a rated output of 250 kW and packaged in a standard 8' x 20' container. Each package integrates two of the company's breakthrough 125 kW linear generator cores, working in tandem, and combines UL-listed grid-tie inverters and auxiliaries into a turn-key package for fast and simple installation and quiet operation. Future configurations will provide higher power output to serve industrial businesses, data centers, hospitals, smart cities, and utility grid-level applications.