Submission from Disenco Energy plc
Domestic & Commercial gas boiler
converts waste heat into electricity.
Produces 12 to 18 kW thermal and
up to 3kW electricity.
Simultaneous, local generation of
heat and electricity from a single fuel source appliance.
Greater than 92% efficiency.
GAD Approved (Gas Appliance Directive).
Reduces Carbon Footprint.
Potential Grid Independence.
Compact 800mm x 600mm x 600mm.
Rapid incremental payback in 4 years
Annual energy savings between 25%
Reduces carbon footprint by up to
Meets 50% of average electrical demand.
Meets 70% of peak electrical demand.
Excess power exported and sold to
Addressable UK market of 1.2 million
units per annum.
World market of >14.4 million
units per year.
No planning permission issues.
Performance is not dependant on Wind
UK Carbon Footprint 560 million Tonnes27%
in housing = 151 million Tonnes per annum.
Fully installed this technology could
reduce UK Carbon by up to 100 million Tonnes per annum.
Technology satisfies environmental
Key component of Carbon Neutral housing.
Level One housing moves to level
four on application of the technology.
Potential for renewable variants,
Solar, Bio and Wood Pellet.
Disenco Energy plc is a small start up company
based in Sheffield, England, which has developed and is in the
process of commercialising a revolutionary, carbon-footprint-reducing
appliance called the "HomePowerPlant" (HPP). The appliance
is a patented micro Combined Heat and Power (m-CHP) unit that
simultaneously generates heat and electricity at efficiency levels
in excess of 92%. The appliance modulates and produces between
12kW to 18 kW thermal (heat) and up to 3kW electrical energy.
While producing all of the heat and on average 50% of the electricity
required by the home it has the potential to reduce the average
domestic property's annual carbon emissions by nearly 70%, from
6 tonnes to 2 tonnes per annum, while reducing combined energy
costs by between 25% to 35%. This disruptive technology is a significant
carbon footprint and energy cost reducing solution for new and
existing domestic properties and small to medium enterprises,
that can materially impact our global energy and emissions targets
today. M-CHP technology fully installed could reduce the UK's
563 tonnes annual footprint by up to 100 tonnes per annum. The
widespread adoption of this technology provides a solution to
both energy and carbon issues without the need for costly rebuilding
programmes. Future planned developments include Wood Pellet, Bio
and Solar variants.
1.1 Company History
The Stirling Engine based m-CHP appliance was
initially developed in Sweden in the 1980's and subsequently by
the Norwegian company Sigma, over a 15 year period to the early
2000s. In 2003 Sigma and its associated Intellectual Property
was sold and Disenco Ltd established in its current research and
development facilities in Sheffield. From 2003 to the present
day Disenco has proceeded to further develop the technology and
commercialise their HPP appliance utilising a strong network of
British engineering partners, with the original Norwegian engineering
base acting as m-CHP consultants. The HPP appliance first received
Gas Appliance Directive (GAD) approval for installation in a domestic
environment in June 2006 and subsequently embarked on a series
of field trials, two in association with the Carbon Trust Field
Trial monitoring scheme. These trials have performed to expectation
and were completed, over a 15 month period, in December 2007.
Disenco is currently testing its first production tooled appliances
with its engineering partners, Prodrive, Enertek and Sentec. Initial
product availability is expected in Q3 2008. The development of
additional saleable units and renewable energy powered devices
are planned following the launch of the current single appliance.
2.1 Product Overview
The size of the appliance is currently 800(h)
x 600(w) x 600(d) mm, designed to fit under a standard work surface.
It is expected to be further reduced to 800(h) x 450(w) x 500(d)
mm. The simultaneous nominal output of the appliance is 15kW thermal
energy and 3kW electrical energy from approximately 20kW input
of either natural gas or LPG. The appliance modulates extremely
well enabling accurate matching to a wide range of thermal loads.
The total appliance efficiency is in excess of 90%, split 75%
thermal efficiency and 15% electrical efficiency, confirmed by
GAD approval. The appliance uses a beta type Stirling engine and
therefore benefits from low noise and vibration characteristics,
making it suitable for installation in a domestic property.
Electrical output is by way of power electronics
and can be adjusted to suit the application whether three phase,
single phase or a variety of frequencies and voltages. Thermal
to electrical loads of up to 1:4 are achievable. Power factor
correction is not required as the unit will run at or close to
unity or a PF of one.
Running for an average of six hours per day
in a domestic setting, gives estimated savings of £500 per
year and up to 4 tonnes of CO2 per year. As feeder
tariffs for electrical export increase the energy savings are
expected to rise significantly, further shortening incremental
payback periods to below four years.
Commercial usage of the device in SME applications
would be expected to make significantly greater carbon and energy
savings due to their enhanced thermal loads and run times during
the 24 hour day.
2.2 Development Concept & Partners
Disenco, in association with its British engineering
partners, has completely redesigned the prototype Norwegian (176b)
Stirling engine while maintaining its performance specifications.
The main design changes incorporated in the new pre-production
engine, the AP0, have resulted in impressive weight, size, component
lead time, part count and cost reductions. These reductions will
be further enhanced by intelligent design changes in the control,
power electronics and the Disenco HPP appliance carcass.
An important differentiator from other m-CHP
technologies is the traditional robust design of the appliance,
leading to a low part count and clear read across to existing
high volume products already in manufacture. This gives a strong
base for low cost and high quality in production.
Prodrive, a British company, is one of the world's
leading motor-sport and automotive groups. The company's global
operations have a turnover in excess of £110 million and
employ nearly 900 staff (of which 60% are qualified to degree
or relevant job level qualifications) in the UK, North America,
Germany, Thailand and Australia. In motor-sport, Prodrive is the
world's largest independent business with involvement in various
international race and rally series. In recent years, Prodrive
Automotive Technology division has grown dramatically and now
represents half the group's business. Working with vehicle manufacturers
and their Tier 1 suppliers, it has become a recognised leader
in chassis dynamics, engines, power trains and, engine management/control
Prodrive has applied innovation and pragmatic
use of the latest engine technology to deliver an efficient, reliable
and commercially viable Stirling engine for the Disenco HPP appliance.
Enertek is an independent British company specialising
in the research, design, development and certification of gas,
oil and electrical appliances. They have a close working relationship
with Certification Bodies, such as Advantica, Loughborough. This
was the key to the initial GAD approval for the 176B field-trial
appliance. Enertek are providing the HPP gas side combustion design,
building, packaging, modification, testing and field-trial support.
The company is also collating data on the 176B and AP0 engines.
Sentec is a British company that specialises
in electronic research and product development to an international
group of clients giving them market advantage through technical
advancement. The company is engineering the power electronics
and control systems for the Disenco HPP appliance.
2.2.4 Intellectual property
Disenco owns all of the IP for its appliance
and has a number of key patents protecting its technology. New
patents are applied for on a regular basis with all rights under
its engineering partners reverting to sole ownership of Disenco
2.3 Market size
The world market is extremely large as indicated
in the table below:
HUGE GLOBAL POTENTIAL
| Global Domestic Boiler market in millions of units per year
|Netherlands and Germany (0.4/0.8 respectively)
|Western Europe (Balance)||0.4
|North America (Canada & Mexico including furnaces)
|Total global domestic boiler market in millions of units per year
|Source: BSRIA survey 2003-06
2.4 Disenco Current Status
The Norwegian engineering knowledge has been transferred
to the British based engineering partners.
A commercial viable Disenco m-CHP engine and combustion
system is under test at Prodrive, Kenilworth and is performing
Enertek are continuing to enhance and commercialise
the combustion system to exceed SEDBUK A rated standards.
Sentec are developing the power electronics, which
enables the HPP connection to the grid. (G83 interface), the appliance
controls and user interface.
Disenco has in place memorandums of understanding
with their initial manufacturing partners, Autocraft and Malvern
Boilers. An initial European supply chain has been established.
The internal quality management system is being
implemented under the guidance of BSI.
2.5 Energy and Carbon Savings
M-CHP is an emerging technology with the potential to provide
significant carbon savings in both commercial and domestic environments.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems provide potential reductions
in carbon emissions and costs by generating both heat and electricity
locally with efficient use of fuel and by offsetting the use of
centrally-generated electricity from the grid.
Centrally generated power is only between 31% and 48% efficient
due central and distribution losses in the grid infrastructure.
When compared to local power generation at 90% the gains for the
environment and the end user are vast.
A level one house on current building regulations could achieve
level four status and 2012 targets by installing a m-CHP unit
of this capacity.
There has been much interest in producing m-CHP systems for
use in small commercial and domestic environments. The Disenco
HPP appliance is designed as a reliable and a cost-effective system
developed for such applications, this offers significant savings
relative to conventional systems, such as condensing boilers and
Significantly many existing premises have little chance of
reducing their carbon footprint and energy costs after adopting
standard insulation improvements. Planning restrictions and location
often negate the effective use of high payback technologies such
as solar and wind. m-CHP has the potential to assist under these
circumstances as it does not require planning consent and its
performance is not weather dependant.
This technology is available now and is a strong and credible
interim solution to our current global emissions targets. It is
critical that this technology comes to market in its current gas
powered format so that the next generation of renewable powered
appliance may be successfully developed in its wake.
2.5.1 Green Technologies
"In response to the threat of climate change the UK
Government has committed to a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide
emissions by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. Reductions in the range
of 26-32% by 2020 are also expected under the Climate Change Bill".
To reduce carbon emissions and help deliver the UK's Climate
Change Programme, the Government has a target, reconfirmed in
the 2004 CHP Strategy, of achieving at least 10,000 MWe of Good
Quality CHP capacity by the end of 2010.
By generating electricity as well as providing heat, and
thus reducing the need for centrally-generated grid electricity,
m-CHP offers significant clean potential for reductions in carbon
emissions and associated cost savings today.
Clean Micro Combined Heat and Power (m-CHP)
At current the majority of m-CHP appliances are powered by
natural gas, which provides a good, highly efficient interim solution.
Due to the depletion of natural gas and the medium term need for
renewable technology other thermal energy sources are being considered.
It is therefore expected that future Disenco Stirling engines
and associate appliances will be designed to accept a variety
of clean genuinely renewable fuel sources to power the appliance.
These are expected to include, but not limited to:
Wood chip (eg short rotation coppice).
Liquid bio fuels (eg oil from plants).
Solar (Disenco existing Patented Hot Platelet EndHeater
In essence any renewable heat source can be considered, as
a Stirling engine simply requires heat to function.
Photovoltaic (PV) This technology uses energy
for the sun to produce electricity. It can complement m-CHP by
providing clean electricity throughout the summer months, when
the demand for heat is less for an m-CHP. However, electrical
output from PV cells is likely to be much lower in the winter
months when electrical demand is at its highest. The size of the
PV cells array is comparatively large for the amount of electricity
Similar to PV (above) this technology uses the suns energy
to produce warm water for a domestic and central heating. Like
PV it provides most of its useful output in the summer months
when actual demand for its output is at it lowest. Purchase costs
are high and payback long.
Electricity is generated through turbines which harness the
Production is entirely weather dependant and therefore may not
follow the electrical demands of the home. Also, careful site
selection is the key to ensuring the turbines produce a reasonable
amount of electrical energy. Existing planning issues have made
mass implementation difficult. Whilst capital cost can be low
payback is long. Peak performance of domestic plant is only achieved
at levels that constitute a severe weather warning in terms of
wind speed. In addition noise can be prohibitive.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Pipes are placed underground to harness the energy stored
within the earth. The heated water from these pipes tends to be
too cool to use for domestic hot water (DHW) and central heating.
Therefore, installations tend to be limited to new or retro fitted
under floor heating and are not commonly a mass solution.
The current debate is likely to continue for some time and
in the event of a positive conclusion in favour of nuclear planning
and build programmes are unlikely to impact 2020 targets.