Energy supply in houses and small offices requires energy in multiple forms and typically include heating and electric power. Heating is normally provided by highly efficient boilers, electricity is normally generated in large power plants and transported to the individual houses. _x000D__x000D_An innovative way to produce the required heat and electricity on location is known as Combined Heat and Power (CHP), steadily gaining popularity in all sectors of the energy economy due to increased costs of fuels and environmental concerns (climate change). Over the past years, a specific small scale form of CHP has gained huge interest. These so called “micro CHP” solutions aim to be used in domestic and SME locations and can fulfill to a large extend the end-users’ energy demand._x000D__x000D_Current estimates of market potential are based on the idea that micro-CHP units will replace gas-fired boilers in central heating systems. Additionally, there is a substantial potential for installations in rural areas. With absence of a natural gas network there are excellent opportunities for Heating Oil fired or LPG-fired micro CHP systems. These rural installations may also provide the best opportunity for utilisation of various bio-fuels (liquid or gaseous), demonstrating the longer term role of micro-CHP as a carbon-free domestic energy supply option. Across the EU there is a potential market of >30 Mio micro CHP systems in the 3 kW electrical range. Key launching markets for natural gas fired systems are the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and Northern Italy. For Heating Oil fired micro CHP systems key markets are Germany, Unit Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain._x000D__x000D_The development of micro-CHP systems has been facilitated by recent developments of various technologies such as the Stirling Engine, Fuel Cells, ORC and gas engines. However, a typical “chicken-egg” problem is obstructing massive introduction of micro CHP. A large volume is needed to achieve a low cost price, whereas a low cost price is needed to achieve a large volume._x000D__x000D_A strong consortium formed around Micro Turbine Technology (MTT) is working on a very innovative solution to this problem: a micro CHP system based on a very small gas turbine. By using commercial off the shelve components from automotive industry (turbocharger components), MTT is able to build a cheap and reliable micro gas turbine, thus solving the mentioned “chicken – egg” problem as already millions of turbochargers are produced yearly. _x000D__x000D_Over the past years, MTT and its Ps have proven that such micro turbine can be developed and used in a micro CHP application. In 2010, a target electrical efficiency has been achieved of 16%; extremely high for a very small gas turbine. Furthermore, a micro CHP demonstrator has been build, to show that the micro CHP concept is feasible, that produces hot water and electricity, already with a combined efficiency of ~ 83%. It has run for a few hundred hours performs well and stable._x000D__x000D_The MTT micro CHP concept will be further developed as described in this project proposal. It will lead to substantial energy savings for the end user (25% lower energy bill) and substantial lower CO2 emission (3-6 tonnes per unit per year). Initial market focus is the top 10% of households and the small businesses sector (small hotels, shops, small offices, fuel pump stations, schools, etc). _x000D__x000D_In this industrial research program, several high-tech components are developed that are crucial for realizing the micro-CHP system:_x000D__x000D_1. The micro gas turbine itself is a smart and integrated solution of the compressor, turbine impellor, electrical motor/generator and the bearing function. Micro gas turbine components are optimized to achieve maximum overall system performance._x000D__x000D_2. A high performance is realized using high-temperature recuperators. Existing recuperators are not yet suited for micro CHP and are not able to withstand the high temperatures, required lifetime and to deal with low cost prices suitable for domestic products. Therefore they need to be developed in combination with suitable production technology. Two technologies are selected that have potential to lead to low-cost applicable solutions._x000D__x000D_3. Clean combustion solutions are developed, for both gaseous fuel (natural gas, LPG) and liquid fuel (heating oil) application. Dedicated combustors/burners are developed that meet the requirements of emissions, operational requirements and low cost._x000D__x000D_4. Conversion of mechanical power to electrical energy must be done at highest achievable efficiency. After all, end users are interested in obtaining electricity from a micro CHP system. Technology solutions for low-cost, high efficient permanent magnet generators and high frequency inverters that are able to efficiently handle the high switching frequencies with new control schemes are developed._x000D__x000D_After this program has finished, the results can be used to develop prototype micro CHP units that are field tested._x000D_

Acronym MTT_MICRO_CHP (Reference Number: 6333)
Duration 01/09/2011 - 31/05/2014
Project Topic The project focuses on R&D of high-tech components for a 3kWe micro turbine based micro CHP system, i.e. the Micro Turbine, High-temperature Recuperators, Advanced Combustors and High-efficient electrical Power Conversion. This to realize highly efficient micro CHP application.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
Development of a compact, high temperature recuperator for a very small Brayton gas turbine cycle including the methodology to produce it, as well as prototypes and tests.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
7 Ateliers de Construction de Thermo-Echangeurs Partner Belgium
7 Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Partner Netherlands
7 OWI Oel-Waerme-Institut GmbH Partner Germany
7 Polidoro SPA Partner Italy
7 Hiflux Limited Partner United Kingdom
7 Prodrive BV Partner Netherlands
7 Micro Turbine Technology BV Coordinator Netherlands