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Israeli Firm Heads for Future Where Buildings Generate Own Electricity

September 20, 2021

by: Janet Aslin

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The Turbo-Gen micro-turbine provides an innovative way to keep the lights burning (illustrative).

Monday, 20 September 2021 | Electricity is one of those silent structural foundations of our lives—we only really notice it when our lights go out, the air conditioning stops and the conveniences we’ve become dependent on are gone. Turbo-Gen, an Israeli firm, has developed a lightweight, high efficiency micro-turbine that operates entirely off the commercial power grid, thus freeing buildings from power outages during heat waves, wind storms or other natural disasters.

The Turbo-Gen micro-turbine is not a generator but rather a CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power) system that works 24/7 to produce all the electricity needed by multi-story office or residential buildings, hospitals and hotels. The current models use natural gas but research and design personnel are working to adapt the design for use with other fuels.

The company’s CEO, Yaron Gilboa, told Israel21c that the micro-turbine design is based on “proprietary jet-propulsion technology developed by [Israel’s] Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.” Extremely efficient, the system can produce energy for five years before needing maintenance.

The micro-turbine comes in two sizes and can be linked together depending on the needs of the building. The smaller unit produces 40KwH while the larger one produces 250KwH of electricity. Unlike many CCHP systems, these micro-turbines are lightweight and can be hauled in the freight elevator rather than requiring a crane to lift it into place.

In addition to its small size and efficiency, the Turbo-Gen system lowers the greenhouse gas emissions of the building by 30%. Currently, office buildings produce 28% of the greenhouse gases that are causing a gradual warming of the earth’s climate.

Gilboa told Israel21c that the company’s first commercial installation is planned for the first half of 2022 in Manhattan. A high density area with many demands on the aging electrical grid, this is a prime location for the product.

The company’s R&D personnel, comprising 80% of the 25-member company, are working toward the ability to charge electric cars on-site as well as adapting the design for use with solar-generated, biogas and hydrogen fuels.

Turbo-Gen has made great strides in the CCHP field since its founding in 2014. This Israeli company is well on the way to fulfilling its vision of becoming a leader in the provision of on-site energy for buildings.

Posted on September 20, 2021

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 20, 2021)

Photo Credit: Colin Behrens/pixabay.com

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