Using plant oils to generate power off-grid sites

Newcastle-EPSRC-power-generationA Newcastle University led consortium, writes Steve Bush, is using plant oils to generate power, heating and cooling for off-grid buildings – homes, farms and businesses.

He begins:

Combined heat and power units have been used by large businesses for many years, using internal combustion engines to provide electricity via a generator, and heat from the engine cooling system and exhaust.

On small premises, turning on a pump or kettle can increase the electrical load several fold in a second. Attempts to cope with the now unmatched electricity and heat results in the system running inefficiently.

Leeds University, part of the consortium alongside Newcastle, the University of Ulster, and three Chinese universities, has also patented a cryogenic energy store.

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