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Periodic Reporting for period 2 - The Exergyn Drive (THE EXERGYN DRIVE™ – AN ENGINE THAT RUNS ON HOT WATER)

Période du rapport: 2016-06-01 au 2017-05-31

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. (c.2% reduction 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 produce up to 35 x 10kW Exergyn Drives™ per month by the end of the project, having reached TRL9. Over the following months we will be conducting 5 successful trials on a number of trial sites across the UK and Ireland. We have already demonstrated over 3,000+ hours of operation in-house on a customised test bed - a key milestone for potential buyers. We have also set records in cycling shape memory alloys achieving over 10 million cycles without degradation. This is key to ensuring a low maintenance cost, and ultimately ensures the engine is an attractive proposition. We have secured our key intellectual property tied, our suppliers have been chosen and our in-house production process has been validated. We have our key markets identified, our key trial partners in place, and our sales pipeline ready to go. Through dissemination at key events, we have made industry & the public aware of our product, our intentions and our capability, and of how the EU has helped us to get to this point.
We have successfully achieved almost all of our key deliverables within the 24 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. Similarly, our Delta-2 & Epsilon-1 engine prototypes have surpassed expectations during in-house trialing. 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. Similarly the Delta-2 was used to seed the design of the Epsilon-1 pilot model. Our Epsilon-1 prototype is operational and working as expected. We have also completed the deisgn of the Zeta-1 engine which will increase efficiency further. Coupled with the development of the engine prototypes, our testing has continued on the SMA wires at the heart of the system. We have surpassed 10 million cycles on a single SMA wire – far surpassing our targets and allowing for a significant reduction in long-term operational costs of the engine. We expect to reach over 40 million cycles this year - providing 20 years of life.

Commercialisation deliverables and milestones have also been exceeded. We were winners of the Cummins Gateway Competition giving us huige exposure and close links to a major engine manufacturer. We signed a MoU with CNNC of China worth an estimated €13 billion over 20 years. We now have 25,000 potential customer sites mapped (and this number is increasing all the time) far surpassing 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. WE have a multitude of high impact trial sites to choose from following agreements with companies such as Cummins, Bord na Mona, BioDynamic and othersl. In the course of the project we have filed 12 new patents (surpassing our target of 10) 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 10 million people through various dissemination and communications activities. This includes potential customers, investors, the scientific community and the general public.

We have also had our management processes validated via an in depth audit by KPMG in the course of the work.
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 19+ 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 10 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.