Decentralized power generation

Decentralized power generation

I have been thinking about this for years and now it seems that the technology and the business model are ready for prime time. Not that I wanted to start a company out of it, because the business is too much capital intensive for how I like to work.

The well known fact, at least for a mechanical engineer, is that methane gas is used at home just for heating, thus wasting all the power generation capability of it. On the other hand methane, fossil fuel etc. are used in power generation plants to produce power at a maximum efficiency of 40% or so, and all the heat is lost (except for very few cases ...).

So the idea is to produce power at home with a very simple, not extremely efficient generator (so relatively inexpensive), while burning methane to produce heat. If you do the math, you jump to an efficiency of more than 90% which would cut a nation's energy bill by a lot!

The next step is to do the same with cars, in the sense that cars are very inefficient at producing power (mechanical power that is), while they heat the air. So you will be able to branch your car to the home generator when batteries are more efficient and less expensive; the generator heats the house at night, recharges your car, and what's left you can sell it back to the power grid.

The great thing about this news is that they built a working prototype and they also thought about a very compelling business model, for consumers that is, not for energy producers, who will have to really adjust their own business models to the new reality of personal power generation with a cost advantage to the centralized model.