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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

10 Dec 2008 05:12:52

Vegetable oil provides electricity, heating, cooling

Vegetable oil provides electricity, heating, cooling
A low carbon system that provides electricity as well as heating and cooling the home is being developed by scientists at Newcastle University.

The micro-trigeneration system – so called because it provides energy in three forms on a small scale – is powered by vegetable oil.

Because the fuel comes from plants which have absorbed CO2 to begin with, the whole process is almost zero-carbon, according to the research team.

Vegetable oil is burned to power an electricity generator, with waste heat used to both warm the building and cool a fridge.

The system also has an energy storage device attached so that energy generated during 'off-peak' times, such as night, can be kept for use when needed.

Project leader, professor Tony Roskilly, said: "The supply of electricity, heating and cooling can be optimised by this one, efficient and sustainable system.

"The combination of the generator and energy storage provides new ways to respond to changing energy demand in the home."

When the device is completed, it could feature in UK homes, helping them meet the zero carbon standard for all new homes from 2016.

British Gas has teamed up with Baxi to promote its micro-combined heat and power device, which creates electricity and heat.



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