A NEW heat evaporative engine built in Geelong is being touted as a revolution in turning a waste product into power.
The Barton Engine was designed by Dr Noel Barton and is being developed by Capricorn Power, which contracted North Geelong firm Austeng to build the engine.
The pilot project was supported by a $292,750 grant from the federal government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package and was successfully demonstrated at Austeng last week.
Based on a proven thermodynamic cycle, the Barton Engine has patented innovations that can efficiently convert heat from a wide range of sources into reliable electricity, at very small scale.
The system involves pressures no greater than 20 bar and uses mostly off-the-shelf components.
“We think this invention has the potential to revolutionise the way the world thinks about heat and power,” Capricorn Power chief commercial officer Mike Hodgkinson said.
“This has twice the efficiency of Loy Yang (power station) at a fraction of the scale, complexity and cost.”
He said a good technology solved a pressing problem, and the Barton Engine would address the gas and electricity price crisis, China shutting the door on recyclables, landfill cost, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
“By focusing on the waste and waste energy market, we aim to solve all these problems in one hit.”
Corangamite federal member Sarah Henderson said the new engine that would enhance energy productivity by providing low-cost electricity, in addition to reducing waste and emissions.
“Forward-thinking projects like these show the muscle of regional Australia, providing advanced manufacturing jobs by training and upskilling ex-automotive industry workers.”
The Barton Engine will be used by the Geelong Cemetery Trust to produce power from its waste heat, and Barwon Water and the Australian Lamb Company (ALC) are also planning to install the engine in Colac to trial the conversion of ALC’s organic waste to gas and then electricity.