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Generación de energía del aire y del sol


Oferta Tecnológica
Una empresa inglesa ha desarrollado una nueva configuración para la generación de energía. El aire caliente generado por un tubo de vacío o colector solar pone en marcha una turbina de gas. La tecnología está especialmente indicada para regiones y países interesados en introducir generadores basados en maquinaria local en vez de importar componentes de alta tecnología del extranjero. La eficiencia del sistema es del 18%, similar a la de las mejores torres solares y tecnologías fotovoltaicas comerciales. Se buscan fabricantes de componentes mecanizados en países con clima soleado para establecer acuerdos de licencia y comercialización con asistencia técnica.


Power from air and sunlight only
An East of England company has devised a novel configuration for power generation. Hot air generated by evacuated tube or other solar collector runs a gas turbine. It is particularly suitable for regions and countries who wish to introduce small and medium power generators based on existing machine shops rather than imports. Private and government manufacturers of machined components are sought in more sunny countries, for licensing and commercial agreements with technical assistance.
Developing countries often need power generation for local applications, on scales much less than the multi-gigawatt capacities of developed-world electric power stations.
A UK company now offers a way to meet this need that can be implemented using local/regional industrial assets, without need to import high-technology components from abroad.
The system can produce power on scales from 10kW up to 10MW, supplying a village, a factory, or a small town. Unlike most non-photovoltaic systems its working fluid is air, so it does not need large supplies of fresh water. It is designed to be fabricated to the maximum extent in the country it is used in: no specialist high-tech components are needed.
The system requires glass and metal tubing, simple aluminium mirrors, frames and an air compressor/turbine system that can be manufactured by any competent machine shop with basic machine tools. Assembly is straightforward and can be carried out by a trained crew using nothing more complicated than a hoist and standard hand tools.
The efficiency of the system is up to 18%, close to the best solar tower and commercial PV technologies. At the same time the capital cost at comparable output is a fraction of that of solar towers (plus you don´t need to build new manufacturing plant).
The collector can for example be an evacuated tube type, which is now usually cheaper than flat plate collectors.

Technical description.
It is a gas turbine system adapted to use solar-heated air (please see the first picture). It works on the same principle as natural-gas-powered generator stations, except that the natural gas is replaced by heated air. Compressor: centrifugal type. Pressure ratio ˜ 2. Construction: cast or machined metal. Steel, brass or aluminium.
Recuperator: cell type, sheet metal construction. Steel or aluminium.
Solar collector: evacuated glass tube with internal focussing reflector and a high-efficiency radiant-power absorber transferring heat to an internal flow of air. Much simpler than conventional domestic-water heating tube-type collectors. Air exit temperature 450-550°C. Single-axis alignment. Materials: glass, steel, aluminium.
Collector area: Modular. Area in square metres is approximately five-and-half times the desired shaft power in kilowatts. Preferred type is parabolic trough and evacuated tube (please see the second picture). The pictured installation needs an area approximately 18m×7m, or 126 square metres. It will generate 17kW with maximum solar irradiance,
or average 10kW over a clear day in a hot-desert environment. A standard football pitch could accommodate 70 such modules generating a maximum of 1.2 Megawatts.
Turbine: centrifugal, cast or machined metal (as compressor).
Electricity generator: induction generator, geared for desired AC frequency (50Hz/60Hz).
Cost: The dominant cost of the system is expected to be the collector, which must cover a large area. When doubling the cost to allow for all other components, and increasing again by a factor of 2-3 to allow for fabrication and installation, the final cost of an installed collector field is likely to be of order $1250/kW. There will be additional costs for the turbomachinery, recuperator and electric generator. Assuming that units are built as 10kW modules, production can be standardised and costs greatly reduced. The turbomachinery unit cost is likely to cost around $200 to make, the recuperator a similar amount, and the generator $2,000. Thus a 10kW modular system might cost about $15,000 per module to produce: i.e. about $1,500 per kilowatt. Larger systems would be 15-20% cheaper per kilowatt.
This is competitive with other solar-concentrating technologies, which tend to cost about four times as much.
It is also competitive with photovoltaic panels. A recent installation in the Philippines was reported in the media to have cost the equivalent of $1,890/kW.
The UK company will pass over the know-how for sourcing or manufacturing.
Advantages and Innovations:
The system is particularly suitable for small to medium power generation. Existing machine shops can make it so that the region or country is less dependent on imports and more power secure.
The system is made up of well-known components but in a novel configuration that is likely to get a patent granted.
Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type of partner sought: industry;
Specific area: manufacturers of components for the power industry, or of solar collectors.
Role of partner: to acquire the technology under license. The UK company will pass over the know-how for sourcing or manufacturing all the necessary components.


Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME <= 10
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
04005005 Energía térmica / solar
04005004 Photovoltaics