They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, it’s heat and applies to electricity, but the message is the same. You can take something labeled “waste” and make it useful.
For every 10 trillion watts of electricity that is produced through the combustion of fossil fuels, an additional 15 trillion watts of “waste heat” is released into the environment via a smokestack, a tailpipe or some other form of exhaust.
Led by CEO Philip Brennan, rexorce Thermionics Inc. is developing a technology that utilizes waste-heat sources to produce electricity.
Much like a steam-based power plant, rexorce’s system operates by circulating a working fluid through a closed loop system to a turbine that produces electricity. Carbon dioxide is “heated” by a waste-heat stream at a superficial state; it captures the thermal energy that is in the waste-heat source and delivers it to the turbine where the combination of pressure and temperature of the carbon dioxide combine to drive the turbine and create electricity. From there, the energy-depleted carbon dioxide is returned to the waste-heat source to capture more available thermal energy. The system uses no fuel other than the heat in the waste-heat stream and the system produces no emissions.
Companies that deploy this system will have the ability to produce electricity, which they may either use themselves or return to the grid. The net economic impact will be either to obtain electricity at a cost below what they pay for it off the grid or to provide electricity to the grid at pricing that justifies the capital investment.
In addition, the system qualifies for a range of federal and state energy- and/or emissions-related incentives/credits.
The true innovation is the empowerment of people and businesses to adopt distributed generation, i.e., the generation of electricity from close to the location of consumption rather than at centralized power plants.
This additional capacity must be developed to keep up with the ever-increasing demand while recognizing that burning additional fossil fuels will lead to only greater emissions of pollutants and increasing reliance on an aging and inefficient distribution system.
How to reach: rexorce Thermionics Inc., (234) 542-4379 or www.rexorce.com