ADI's Dual Shell Stirling Engine is 50% efficient, which is a massive 25% improvement over existing Stirling engines and PEM fuel cells. This also represents a 50% improvement over current micro-turbine generators. By incorporating a design philosophy of ease of manufacture into the engine configuration, ADI Inc has also achieved a low-cost design, which enables an initial market-competitive price of $1000 per kilowatt (kW) which will rapidly fall to as low as $600/kW once efficiencies of scale are established, resulting in a 25kW system costing around $25,000 as a market entry price, which is still very competitive with existing products on the market.
Comparably-sized, but less-efficient and noisier diesel generators sell for approximately $18,000, with micro-turbines selling for as much as $30,000. Capstone Turbine Corporation currently provides its products at $1500/kW.
ADI’s design improvements increase efficiency, thereby lowering operating costs. Innovative designs also reduce the upfront cost of the system. For example, in typical Stirling engines the heater head accounts for as much as 50% of the manufacturing cost. ADI has significantly reduced the cost of this part to 10% of total system cost through a design that uses 90% fewer parts and by using fast, simple, and reliable diffusion-bonding processes for the heater head welded joints. This process is one of several proprietary manufacturing technologies ADI has developed and patented during the design of this product.
The Dual Shell Stirling Engine will operate at higher temperatures, up to even 3000F, if oxidation-dispersed Molybdenum is used for the inner shell material. At this temperature the engine operates above 50% fuel-to-electric efficiency, making it a potential clear market leader.
Since the combustion that drives Stirling engines occurs externally, the engines can run on almost any fuel, including propane, ethyl alcohol, natural gas, biomass, solar heat and fuel cells. Companies in the U.S., Japan, Australia and several African countries are discussing with ADI Inc combined cycle systems, in the 100 kW size range, with thermal-to-electric efficiencies of to-date-unachieved 70%.
ADI is investigating heat pipe technology to efficiently extract the waste heat from the high temperature fuel cell directly into the Stirling engine without a post combustion process.
In the face of rising air pollution and global warming, the ADI Dual Shell Stirling Engine™ has a three-fold positive environmental impact:
(1) it has significantly higher efficiencies than other engines,
(2) very quiet operation,
(3) the ability to use cleaner fuels.
This translates into less air, noise and thermal pollution. As a result, ADI Inc has been and continues to be eligible for sizable grants from states like California, Arizona, and New Mexico and from the Department of Energy to enhance and continue to advance the technology.
ADI's system is ideal for primary and backup power systems in residential and business zones, in remote, sensitive, and wilderness areas and for use during public events or on construction sites in populated communities. Quiet, efficient, and reliable operations mean that the system may also have military applications. To date, ADI has military contacts in the US in Hawaii and California.
ADI's Dual Shell Stirling Engine™ Power Generation System is designed primarily for use in the distributed power and large portable generator markets. It is also well-suited for use in solar-thermal power plants, several of which are being developed around the world. In particular, ADI Solar has a developed a solar power generation system around their patented thermal storage technology as well as ADI Thermals engine technology. ADI Solar is currently in funding negotiations to finish commercializing and start production. A kick-off customer for the first 1000 solar generation units has been established as well as follow-on sales. A portion of ADI Solars funding arrangements will enable ADI Thermal to finish its final stages of development testing and finalize a production design.
In addition to solar, ADI Thermal has attracted considerable interest from natural gas providers, regional power companies, local generator retailers, and regulators at various sustainable energy conferences. Future applications could include hybrid electric vehicles including automobiles, submarines, light aircraft, and even spacecraft. The ongoing deregulation of the electric utility industry has opened a market once controlled by lobbyists, utility companies and Public Utility Commissions (PUCs). California is accelerating the development of alternative power sources. Consequently, California is one of ADI’s initial target markets. In addition to increasing power reliability and insulating consumers and businesses from high power rates, distributed power also reduces the load on the power grid.
ADI's Dual Shell Stirling Engine™ Power Generation System has no obvious direct competition. Other engine designs lack the technology to harness solar power as efficiently as has been reported in numerous papers and studies. Once operational, ADI's Dual Shell Stirling Engine™ will be much more advanced than the nearest competitor.
The Distributed Power Market
Distributed power has been defined as electrical power generation systems (ranging from a few kilowatts to several megawatts) placed within the community at the point of use. Initial customers: Industrial and commercial businesses will benefit from buying a distributed power system. The power system provides a number of beneficial features. These include, but are not limited to:
(1). a standby power source in case of grid outages;
(2). the electricity can be sold through the grid;
(3). the excess heat released can be used for space or water heating or to power an absorption chiller for refrigeration;
(4). the system is run in parallel with the electric grid to allow Demand Side Management, which reduces grid usage during peak demand and thus trims customer utility costs.
In 1999, the Distributed Power Forum predicted that at least 20% of all future worldwide electricity would be provided through distributed power sources. The California Energy Commission further predicted in its Distributed Generation Strategic Plan (2002), that this would be the case in the US by the year 2010. And while the process is happening more slowly than the CEC predicted, it is happening. Using demand data from Resource Dynamics Corporation, in the United States alone this equates to a demand for 20 GW, which is 800,000 equivalent 25 Kilowatt units. If each 25kW unit is valued at $15,000, a conservative estimate, then the total 10-year US market would be worth at least $12 billion dollars.
Several states, including California, have deregulated their power industries and instituted special incentives for alternative and environmentally friendly power sources. Consequently, as much as 40% of California's new power over the next several years is projected to come from distributed power.
Setting California as an example target market; Requirements for the distributed power target market can be divided into several categories including Economic, Environmental, and Availability. Each of these requirements must be met before the new systems can be successfully integrated into the California power system. None of the currently-available distributed power systems meet all three criteria. However, ADI’s Dual Shell Stirling Engine™ system does. The diverse set of power systems fit well within the competitive environment, further increasing the benefits to the customers.
ADI Thermal - Market Positioning
;ADI business case represents an annual manufacturing capacity of 1.25 GW at full capacity using the suggested technology. Consequently the initial ADI full-scale production plan, of 50,000 units/year, generating over $500 million in revenues will satisfy less than 3% of the assessed world total market in Table 1 below.
Due to the dramatic potential and sheer size and scale required to fully address the market, ADI believes that strategic alliances may be required to position the company for strength. An alliance with a major manufacturer and distributor of power generators could be the most productive route.
The US Government has also expressed an interest in the Dual Shell Stirling Engine generators. They represent an expansion of the demand once the product has been fully validated. Current work with the US government is with the NASA Glenn Stirling Engine Laboratory.
The economics dictate a system that will be cost competitive with current power cost infrastructure. Electric power costs in California vary between $.06 and $.11 per kilowatt hour (kWh) depending on the end user. Distributed electricity must be sufficiently efficient and reliable to stay within this price range. Sufficient profit margin must be in place to allow for the amortization of the system equity within a reasonable time period.
The Environmental drivers require pollution levels within current Government regulations on Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, and particulates. The increased restrictions by State agencies have accelerated research in emission reduction technologies and have led to extremely low emission levels from burnable energy sources.
The ADI Thermal Power Corp. product provides a significant advantage for the distributed market customer. The ADI system is significantly more efficient than all competing systems. The improved efficiency ranges from 25-100%, which allows an increase in profit or amortization rate for the system owner relative to competing systems.
The worldwide 10-year market has been projected at over $100 billion dollars with a significant portion of the demand located in Western Europe and in developing countries. The world is awaiting the advent of a product that is clean, quiet, reliable, affordable, and ultra-efficient; a combination that has yet to hit the market. That product is the ADI Dual Shell Stirling Engine™.
ADI Inc believes that the Solar Array generation system can deliver the following:
● 24/7 base-load energy using the sun as the sole source
● a 100 kW levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of $.08/kW-hr
These targets can be achieved using 50% of the land space required for existing solar generation systems with comparable output thanks to much higher levels of operating efficiency, which exceed 35%.
In addition, this type of generation helps to protect the environment due to to sole use of renewable sources with zero emissions, and makes economic good sense too thanks to lower construction cost per kW.
When integrated with the Dual Shell Stirling Engine™ to provide a base-load continuous solar power facility, the facility provides 100kW of grid-connectable power with a 30-year life and an un-subsidized electricity production at $0.12 to $0.08/kWh. Units will be go into manufacture with a $750,000 sales price, which drops to $500,000 as production increases over a four-year period to 1000 units per year.
ADI Solar will also commercialize a 10 MW base-load solar facility after completion of the 100 kW system. The 10 MW system will allow a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of electricity of $.05/kw-hr relative to the 100 kW system which will provide power at $.08/kw-hr. The larger system integrates a single 10 MW CO2 Supercritical Brayton as the heat to electric conversion component. Sales for the new system start at $50M for the initial versions and drop to $30M as production volume increases. Both the 10 MW and 100 KW systems have sufficiently rapid power characteristics to allow load following for additional peaking benefits. The 10MW Array can also be used to create Dimethyl Ether (DME) or gasoline with carbon dioxide, water and solar-generated electricity at a cost of only $2 per US gallon