Our evaporation-driven generator generates electricity from the abundant yet untapped resource of natural evaporation. The generator continuously generates electricity when installed above a natural or manmade body of water. The system generates electricity at low cost, stores and delivers power on demand, and conserves water by reducing evaporative losses.
Primary Application Area: Energy, Efficiency
Technology Development Status: Prototype
FIGURES OF MERIT
Value Proposition: Current renewable energy technologies produce intermittent power, are limited to favorable geographies, and require expensive power storage facilities to balance supply and demand. The EDG can be deployed on any body of fresh or saltwater, and uses the water mass under the harvester panels to store thermal energy to meter the supply of electricity without use of storage batteries. In climates when thermal storage is not feasible, dry spores can be stored in large actuators that are activated by a small volume of water to drive pistons that power the generator. Spore backup power is rechargeable and consumes only small volume of water. Initial capital costs to install the EDG are lower than PV panels because the key biomaterial, spores, are already produced in large, industrial quantities (e.g. animal feedstock). A significant secondary cost benefit of the EDG is the value of water that is conserved by the system. This value will be immediately realized by EDG installations on hydroelectric dam reservoirs, where millions of gallons are lost to evaporation before feeding the turbines. Hybrid EDG/hydroelectric facilities will synergistically increase power output, utilize existing connections to the grid, and deliver more water to downstream agricultural and municipal users.
Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab
Showcase Booth #: 16T
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES
External Funding to Date: $875,000 David & Lucile Packard Foundation, 2013