HAYWARD, Calif. — Alphabet Energy has introduced a new thermoelectric generator that captures exhaust heat and converts it into electricity. Called the E1, it attaches to an exhaust stack and uses Alphabet’s patented thermoelectric materials to convert waste heat into electricity. Thermoelectrics use a temperature differential to generate electricity in the solid state. This product introduction is the first for the company, which was founded in 2009 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The E1 generates up to 25 kWe per 1,000 kWe engine, saving 52,500 liters of diesel fuel per year, per engine, said the company. Alphabet Energy has already taken multiple orders for the E1, which has gone through extensive customer testing in the field.
“Today we’re making history and marking a milestone in industrial energy efficiency with the introduction of the E1,” said Matthew L. Scullin, Alphabet Energy CEO and founder. “People have been trying to make an industrial-scale thermoelectric generator for a long time. Customers want waste-heat recovery solutions that are simple pieces of industrial equipment rather than complex power plants.”
While NASA has used thermoelectrics since the 1950s, high materials costs made them prohibitive for wider use. However, Alphabet’s proprietary advancements in silicon and tetrahedrite have enabled the company to create highly efficient thermoelectric materials that use abundant resources. Also, since thermoelectrics are solid-state, the E1 operates with technology that has no moving parts, no working fluids, and requires minimal maintenance.
The E1 requires only minor upfront engineering and no operation by the customer. This makes it ideally suited for remote and industrial applications where ongoing system support capacity is limited.
The E1 is installed with a simple process that involves only exhaust coupling and electrical hookup, said Alphabet Energy. Standard connection can be completed in as little as two hours of previously scheduled engine downtime. All updates to the host engine’s exhaust system are performed within a standard engine maintenance service interval. The E1 complies with all major engine manufacturer backpressure limits and warranty specifications.
For more information, visit www.alphabetenergy.com.
Publication date: 10/20/2014