Micro Energy Systems for the 21st Century
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers' seminar,
6th June 2002
Micro Combined Heat & Power (mCHP) has
substantial economic and environmental potential. Ultimately it may be installed
in over 12 million UK homes and provide an installed generation capacity of a
similar order of magnitude to the nuclear industry.
A range of micro CHP technologies are
approaching commercial launch. It is anticipated that Stirling engine based
units will become available in 2003, with fuel cells perhaps five years later.
This paper considers the characteristics of the leading
Stirling engines (and other prime mover technologies) and their potential
applications in the domestic sector, with particular reference to the
WhisperTech WG800 currently undergoing its second year of UK field trials. The
paper will also outline challenges facing such technologies, including interface
with the home energy system and the electricity distribution network.