Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Micro Power for the Home

CNet News:
A Massachusetts company next month will release a combination power generator and space heater, a system that can cut down on electricity bills, according to backers--at least while the heat is running.

Climate Energy was formed in the year 2000 to bring "micro-combined heat and power," or micro-CHP, to consumers in the U.S.

Combined heat and power systems, already available for industry and large buildings, are designed to harvest what is normally wasted heat during the process of power generation. As fuel is burned to make electricity, the resulting heat is captured and piped through a home's existing hot-air heating system.

Climate Energy's system is designed around a Honda internal combustion engine that burns natural gas to generate electricity. A heat exchanger feeds any captured heat to a furnace, which then distributes the hot air.

If sized right, the combined heat and power unit can heat a home during the cold months of the year and slash a home's electricity bills, according to the company's president and CEO, Eric Guyer.