Kennewick, Washington [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Infinia Corporation announced that it has partnered with Lexington, Massachusetts-based Emergence BioEnergy Inc. (EBI) to develop a product that will serve developing nations, including their rural communities.
EBI will focus on Bangladesh and has developed a strategy for serving low-income countries around the world.
The initial product will package Infinia’s 1-kilowatt (kW) free-piston Stirling generator with a thermal appliance and will operate on methane gas produced by an anaerobic digester that converts livestock manure and agricultural wastes into combustible biogas. The product is highly versatile and can be adapted to other fuel sources, depending on the circumstances.
The EBI strategy, conceptualized by GrameenPhone founder and EBI CEO Iqbal Quadir, provides a platform that generates electricity on a sustainable basis from locally available fuel sources and provides clean, high quality heat to support additional income-generating opportunities for local entrepreneurs. The digester produces fuel for the Stirling engine and produces waste solids which can be used as fertilizers and fish feed. The Stirling engine will consume biogas from the digester and generate electricity and heat.
“Infinia’s unique Stirling engine technology will enable us to provide an efficient and reliable energy system that the farmers and villagers can operate and maintain themselves,” said EBI CEO Iqbal Quadir. “This opportunity has the potential to positively impact more people in more ways than virtually anything I’ve seen.”
Infinia’s reliable and maintenance-free 1 kW Stirling engine is being used in residential combined heat and power appliances expected to be commercialized in Asia and Europe over the next 18 months. Mass production of the 1 kW engine will help to ensure that the EBI product is affordable for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and villages.