Intelligent Power Generation (IPG) will demonstrate the impact of Flameless Ceramic Turbine technology in UK electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, following a £1-million contract from Highways England. IPG secured the £1 million as part of the Highways England (HE) and Innovate UK’s £20-million innovation call to invest in projects that can help improve air quality and operation of England’s roads.
IPG’s project will demonstrate the role of Flameless Ceramic Turbine technology in bringing EV charging to high-use and remote locations through clean, cheap, grid-independent power generation.
In efforts to scale EV charging infrastructure to support the expected rise of electric vehicles on the road, the UK government is set to increase the number of high-powered rapid chargepoints in England from 809 (as of 1 January 2020) to 6,000 by 2035. This growth will require high megawatt capacities across England’s road networks. But, in many high-use areas and remote locations, upgrading grid connections to meet future charging demand is not practical or commercially viable.
Grid access and capacity issues, as well as the infeasibility of on-site solar and wind, is a barrier for EV charging in many locations. Highways England is funding this project to assess how IPG's turbine technology could present a solution for delivering power at a competitive cost while improving air quality, that would alleviate grid stress in high-use areas, as well as enabling remote locations to facilitate EV charging.—Brian Cull, Senior Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer, Highways England
IPG’s Flameless Ceramic Turbine is a 100kW modular generator. Up to 8 turbines fit in a 20ft shipping container, forming a deployable power solution for EV charging companies that can be scaled to match demand in any location.
The Flameless Ceramic Turbine combines flameless combustion technology and innovations in ceramic design to deliver demand-responsive power without the emissions. It operates at high temperatures—above the temperature for spontaneous reaction from any fuel—to enable combustion without a flame. Low-cost ceramics enable temperatures beyond the limitations of metals to deliver fuel efficiencies of power plants in small-scale distributed power.
IPG‘s flameless combustor uses the turbine exhaust and high heat transfer effectiveness through the IPG regenerator unit. In bringing power plant efficiencies to the microscale through high-temperature ceramics, IPG’s turbine delivers a 51% fuel efficiency, reduces CO2 emissions by 43% and fuel costs by up to 76% (when on natural gas) compared to diesel generators and gas engines.
Flameless combustion eliminates all pollutant emissions such as NOx, CO, and PM, and enables the fuel-flexibility that is crucial in creating demand for clean alternative fuels, accelerating the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.
Not only can IPG’s technology deliver low-emission, pollutant-free energy on today’s cleaner fuels. It also enables EV charging service providers to transition to truly net-zero fuel-based power, as biofuels and hydrogen become more available, supporting the Government’s efforts to tackle climate change.—IPG CEO Toby Gill