h a l f b a k e r y
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CHP installations are Baked and WKTE.
However, they have shortcomings, mainly around balancing the demand for electricity with that for heat.
The new BorgCo unit addresses these issues.
A small liquid-cooled internal combustion engine fuelled by natural gas converts chemical fuel into rotational
energy. The heat from the cooling system is used for space or water heating.
The engine directly drives a liquid-cooled air compressor. Heat is also recovered here, as compressing air liberates lots of heat. The compressed air is stored in large metal flasks.
Through a clutch system, the engine can be decoupled from the compressor and connected to an alternator should electric power be desired.
The alternator can also be spun by an air motor if there is electrical demand but no heat demand.
A network of pipes allow domestic appliances to be powered directly by compressed air.
The air storage flasks are cheaper to produce than a battery array and an inverter. They can absorb ambient energy when depressurizing, increasing efficiency yet again.
||Suspicious lack of death-inducing consequences...
||//The engine directly drives a liquid-cooled air compressor. Heat is also recovered here, as compressing air liberates lots of heat.//
||Sucking heat out of the cycle at the end of the compression process will hurt the thermal efficiency. Normally it's best to get these processes as adiabatic as possible. For CHP though where heat is a desired output it may make sense but I'd be surprised.
||It's relatively trivial to run an internal combustion engine
on compressed air, similarly it's also trivial to use an
internal combustion engine as an air compressor. In fact I
think there were ways to modify a WW2 jeep engine to
run on two cylinders and use the other two as
compressors. Anyhow, if an engine is running at constant
rpm, as is most efficient and the electrical load
decreases, clever valving could divert air to a tank.
Conversely, under heavy load compressed air could be
fed in the opposite direction to act as a supercharger.
Under extremely light load, fuel could be cut completely
and compressed air used exclusively.
||So, a kind of regenerative Jake brake?