Energy Insight
Renewable Energy News, Views, & Resources

Small-Scale Biomass Power Generator

Cyclone Power Technologies has completed development of a working prototype biomass power generator, the first system of its kind capable of allowing homes, farms, and small commercial enterprises to produce electricity from vegetative waste and byproducts.

Cyclone's prototype generator is a self-contained, compact system that utilizes the company's award-winning Waste Heat Engine (WHE) to produce power from heat derived from biomass combustion. In the current testing stage, the company is using wood pellets, but virtually any dry plant matter -- including grass clippings, corn stalks, or wood chips -- could be burned cleanly and efficiently.

"We believe our system is truly game changing," stated Allan Brown, Cyclone's senior engineer on the WHE biomass project. "Many families, farms and businesses throughout the world burn biomass to heat buildings and warm water, but being able to create electricity from the same fuel source in any climate, at any time of year, offers vast possibilities."

At the heart of Cyclone's biomass generator system is the patent pending WHE, a six-cylinder Rankine cycle external heat engine capable of generating up to 15HP of mechanical power. An attached biomass combustion chamber produces up to 600°F of heat to run the WHE at peak performance. An alternator or generator then converts mechanical energy from the engine into as much as 10kW of usable electricity. The entire system, including engine, heat exchangers, burner, electrical alternator/generator, and feed hopper is mounted on a pallet for portability.

The company now plans to create a commercial production model of the WHE biomass generator, which could be sold through home and garden retailers, agricultural machinery wholesalers, or biomass furnace manufacturers and distributors.

"We are looking for the right partners to bring this product to market," added Wilson McQueen, Cyclone's Marketing Manager. "We think the potential for producing clean energy from recycled waste and renewable fuels is an extremely important product to advance environmental sustainability and energy conversation."

Cyclone Power Technologies is the developer of the award-winning Cyclone Engine -- an eco-friendly external combustion engine with the power and versatility to run everything from portable electric generators and garden equipment to cars, trucks, and locomotives. Invented by company founder and CEO Harry Schoell, the patented Cyclone Engine is a modern steam engine, ingeniously designed to achieve high thermal efficiencies through a compact heat-regenerative process, and to run on virtually any fuel -- including bio-diesels, syngas, or solar -- while emitting fewer greenhouse gases and irritating pollutants into the air. Currently in its late stages of development, the Cyclone Engine was recognized by Popular Science Magazine as the Invention of the Year for 2008, and was presented with the Society of Automotive Engineers' AEI Tech Award in 2006 and 2008. Additionally, Cyclone was recently named Environmental Business of the Year by the Broward County Environmental Protection Department.

Read Biofuels and Bioenergy: Processes and Technologies from Amazon.