Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

The Exergyn Drive Report Summary

Project ID: 672528

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - The Exergyn Drive (THE EXERGYN DRIVE™ – AN ENGINE THAT RUNS ON HOT WATER)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"Waste heat is an enormous problem in Power Generation, Industrial Processes, Transport & other industries. The amount of waste heat produced worldwide every year is equivalent to 12 years of electricity consumption in the EU. Low-grade waste heat (“LGWH”) is defined herein as being water of <120ºC, usually 80º – 95ºC. Most power producers (across multiple industries) are making no use of their LGWH, yet have an enormous appetite for a commercial solution that will convert their LGWH to power. A solution to the LGWH problem could have a worldwide market of €440+ billion (excl. carbon credits etc) & reduce CO2 emissions by up to 700 million tonnes p.a. (c.2% decrease on 2014 levels). Exergyn has developed a patented engine that runs on hot water (the “Exergyn Drive™”). Technically, it converts LGWH to mechanical or electrical power.

We aim to be the first truly commercial solution to enable a mass-market of users to convert their LGWH to useful power. No such solution currently exists which makes our solution highly disruptive. Exergyn aims to become a European leader, and then a global leader in its field. We expect to achieve revenues of €1+billion within 7 years, by which time we plan to directly employ 400+ professionals in Europe, and would expect at least 5,000 indirect jobs to be created in Europe as a result. Through the profitable mass-deployment of our product, we aim to make a significant contribution to reducing global warming. If our initial product were to be fully deployed across the world, it could reduce global carbon emission by at least 700 million tonnes p.a. [a reduction of c.2% on 2014 levels]. Alone we will not solve global warming, but if c.50 more companies like Exergyn can emerge with other innovative energy solutions, humanity should solve the climate change challenge.

The key objectives for this project are to be in a position where we are ready to sell up to 35 x 10kW Exergyn Drives™ per month by the end of the project, having reached TRL9. In doing so, we will have conducted 5 successful trials on a number of trial sites across the UK and Ireland, demonstrating over 3,000+ hours of operation - a key milestone for potential buyers. We will have our supplier agreements in place, with all our suppliers "ready to go", and our key intellectual property tied down. We will have our key markets identified, our first 50 units pre-sold, our channel partner agreements in place, and our commercialisation staff trained and in-situ. Through dissemination at key events we will have made industry aware of our product, our intentions and our capability."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

We have successfully achieved all of our key deliverables within the first 12 months of the project. Our Delta-1 prototype was successfully deployed to a trial site for 6 months with output and efficiency exceeding targets when adjusted for trial site temperatures. We have also achieved significant product manufacture cost savings - for example, we reduced core assembly time by 90% (compared to our Delta-0 prototype), we reduced production cost per core by 85% and we reduced manifold costs by 80%. Once results from the Delta-1 trial became available, the next generation Delta-2 engine was designed. Our Delta-2 prototype is operational and already achieving over 5.2% efficiency at the cores – hugely exceeding our target of 4.5%. Coupled with the development of the engine prototypes, our testing has continued on the SMA wires at the heart of the system. We are on course to reach 10 million cycles on a single SMA wire by end 2016 (with over 3 million already reached) – far surpassing our targets and allowing for a significant reduction in long-term operational costs of the engine.

Commercialisation deliverables and milestones have also been exceeded, whereby we now have 23,000 potential customer sites mapped (and this number is increasing all the time). We have already surpassed our Phase 2 target of 20,000. Furthermore, we have carried out work investigating additional markets to the biogas already researched. These additional markets include marine & geothermal amongst others. Discussions with our selected trial partners have been progressing with positive discussion taking place with all. In the first 12 months of the project we have filed 7 new patents and 5 more have gone to PCT stage, all of which serves to protect Exergyn’s key enabling technologies. Finally, we estimate that we have reached a minimum of 1.5 million people through various dissemination and communications activities. This includes potential customers, investors, the scientific community and the general public.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

All of the progress we have made with our technology during the course of this project is by definition ‘state of the art’ – no one else has ever done the work we are doing before at scale.

So far the main socio-economic impact of our project is that we’ve employed 15+ professionals directly and are likely to have provided indirect employment for another 10+ full-time equivalent people (in practice, we provided part-time work for dozens of suppliers of goods and services in Ireland and the EU).

As a result of our reaching at least 1.5 million people through our dissemination and communication activities, we hope to have reinforced the idea that Europe and the world needs to reduce the carbon-intensity of its energy production, and that innovative solutions to this problem can benefit the community (through extra jobs etc.) rather than costing it.

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