Monthly Archives: October 2009

Solar Heart converts ‘low temperature’ heat

800px-Solar_panels_on_a_roofCool Energy of Boulder, Colorado  is working at the completion and operation of the  Solar Heart engine which converts low temperature heat into electrical power.

The  team has produced the engine near 1 kW  and will now be using a higher temperature working fluid to simulate a solar application.  And  it is expecting  to generate power in the 1,5 kW.

A good performence! Cool Energy is talking about low temperature, but don’t mention what temperature. Are we talking about heat lower than 300 C or higher ?  De “Green Turbine “works  by a low temperature of 150 C and by using Organic Rankine Cycle  it is possible to work with low temperatures of below 100 C. (

Both Gas- and Steam to power EV battery range?

Nick Kurczewski is writing about extremely small (gas) turbines, which can extend the travel range of electric cars in his blog on the website of Green Car Advisor. He’s talking about the Dutch company MTT en the Israeli Company EVT Motors, but he forgets to mention Green Turbine BV. Although Green Turbine is mostly suitable for hybrid cars (the turbine can use the waste heat of the motor), it also can be used in electric cars with a gas turbine, because waste heat of a gas turbine can be used to drive Green Turbine.

So, what exactly is the Green Turbine?  Well, it’s a small (slightly larger than a football), lightweight and silent micro steamturbine with an output in the range of 1-15 Kw. It converts steam to electricity and also produces heat in this process. It can be driven by any fuell type (natural gas, propane etc.), waste heat, biomass and fuel cell.

Green Turbine
Green Turbine

The turbine has been developed in the past five years by a small company called Green Turbine BV (it has also a Canadian version which is the company Green Turbine INC.

Green Turbine is not developing a prototype, it actually has a working prototype. The only thing left, is the long term testing which is starting at the end of October.

Green Turbine can extend the efficiency of hybrid cars by 20-30%. As previously mentioned, it captures the waste heat of the engine exhaust and converts it into electricity. We calculated this percentage based on the following:

In hybrid or fuel cell cars about 10% of the waste heat can be recovered and converted to electricity. As waste heat is about 75% of the total energy input of a car, this 10% is substantial. It will boost total efficiency of a hybrid automobile between 20 – 40%.

Imagine what Green Turbine could do in an electric car, when it is placed after a gas turbine!

Solar Power anytime, anywhere

Portable Solar Charger (Bron: Wikipedia Commons)
Portable Solar Charger

Portable Solar Power systems are becoming increasingly popular as they help the average person clean up the environment  on a “micro-level”.  They have become a solution for hykers  and cyclists,  to find their route by using  GPS.  They have the benefits to be  flexible  and foldable;  they can roll up  and carry with you  on your backpack.

A good charger  needs to be charged up in less than 10 hours, must be weight under a pound and must be 1-2 year old in its design.  You need a light and durable device which also works in partial sunlight.  Bill Chapell recommends  four devices:

The K3 Wind and Solar Charger  is a durable nice-looking device, meant for cellphones and cameras.  If you want to give a boost, you can charge it via AC outlet.

The Solio Classic scallops out into a  flower-petal pattern. Solio is one of the more established companies and their products have a reputation for being hardy.

The Novothink Surge For iPhone is a charger with a built-in Apple-friendly 30-pin connector for your iPhone. It includes a USB connector and it can charge itself via USB as well.

The Powertraveller Solar Monkey is very versatile and can be strapped on top of a backpack. It is best to get with a Solar Nut, a little dongle that regulates the power flow.  Though small and flexible, yet  is has much storage capacity.

There are many devices on the Web and it is difficult to make a choice. Some chargers have the disadvantage to take up much space or take much time by charging. Others suddenly expunge by switching off the memory.  But after reading the comments of critics and users review, you may be find what you have in mind.