We live in a world that is rapidly decarbonising the supply of electricity and heat. Many organisations now have aggressive targets of moving to net zero by 2030. Up to now, much of the low carbon electricity is generated by Wind and Solar. But we also need sources of electricity that are not dependent on the sun shining or wind blowing. Batteries are still expensive and can only deal with short periods. We also need zero carbon heating for our homes and commercial enterprises.

Since 2014, Bluebox has been developing ultra low carbon combined heat and power solutions for business parks, communities, industrial and farming processes. During that time we’ve developed a new method to convert the heat to electricity using our hot air turbine technology. For fuel, we use waste wood from timber production, municipal waste or simply heat from industrial processes.

A hot air turbine takes in filtered air and compresses it in a turbocompressor. This air is heated using energy from a hot gas stream, like fluegas from the combustion of waste. This hot pressurised air passes through the turbocompressor and power turbine to produce electricity. The electrical output from the turbine generator is converted to high quality grid power in a dedicated inverter. The air that comes out of the power turbine is still about 400 DegC, so can be used for heating, steam production or direct drying. The turbine is started in 30 seconds using a blower fan. The turbine can be stopped in 10 seconds by opening vent valves allowing the compressed air to pass straight to the exhaust. The remaining parts of the module are there to lubricate and cool the turbine components as well as monitoring all the key pressures and temperatures to ensure correct operation. A control system completes the package allowing easy start / stop, manages safe operation and allows remote access to all the key parameters.

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