Low Cost Electricity
Low Cost Electricity from Fossil Fuels, Biomass, Plastics and Waste with no CO2 or other emissions
Ardau is a system that converts any carboniferous material into energy without emitting any pollution. A chemical reaction inside an enclosed carbon reactor extracts the maximum energy from the fuel. Coal is still the most commonly used fuel in electricity generation worldwide. It is relatively cheap and plentiful. Ardau installations can even burn forms of coal such as lignite (brown coal) that are regarded as too dirty for use in conventional power stations.
Heat and power are generated on a commercial scale with extreme efficiency.
The core technology has been developed and tested over the last 20 years. Ardau is now ready to apply this technology to provide for the world’s growing energy needs.
Ardau in Operation
The main output from the reactor is supercritical fluid (a form of superheated steam) at a very high temperature and pressure. This is used to drive a turbo-expander to generate electricity, though some may be taken off for other purposes such as hydrogen generation. Turbo-expanders with generator sets are very efficient producers of electricity and are a well-established technology.
Inorganic (unconsumed) matter drops out of the reactor without disturbing its operation. Any valuable metals in this material can be recovered and sold. The residue is sterile and inert and can be sold for hardcore.
Ardau installations can operate 24/7 with only two hours downtime for cleaning each year, and a two day maintenance programme every five years.
Ardau systems are completely enclosed. There is no uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases, particulates or other pollutants. All outputs can be captured and sold, creating additional revenue streams.
Ardau systems are not expensive to install or maintain and have a small footprint.
They can be retrofitted to existing boiler based power stations burning coal or biomass. They can use the same fuel and infrastructure as the previous installation, but generate a lot more power.
Systems are available with capacities between 5MW and 50MWh. Systems can be placed in parallel so that 10 x 50MW systems side by side will produce 500MW. Ten Ardau systems will easily fit into the turbine hall of a 500MW conventional power station once the existing equipment is removed
For major users the fuel can be biomass as well as coal, lignite, waste coal and other carboniferous materials currently regarded as too ‘dirty’ for normal use. Such materials can be bought relatively cheaply as other markets for them are limited.
The percentage efficiency in conventional power stations is between 18% and 49% for steam and gas turbines and 63% for ‘combined cycle’ power plants. An Ardau installation will operate at over 65% efficiency. This reduces the costs of electricity generation dramatically as up to four times as much power can be produced from the same quantity of fuel.
A single Ardau system fits into a standard 40ft container, so can be transported by road or helicopter to a remote community thereby enabling it to produce power and clean water from its own waste and local materials.
A small (5MW) Ardau installation can meet the power needs of around 3,000 families.
‘Flexible Load’ – An Additional Benefit
Conventional coal, biomass and nuclear power stations provide what is known as ‘base load’ power. This is because they are unable to vary their power output easily and quickly, so are used to provide constant power 24/7 (‘base load’). To generate the extra electricity when demand peaks they need to be supplemented by ‘load following power plants’. These are power stations than can vary their output reasonably quickly. The disadvantage is that the electricity they generate is typically much more expensive than that from ‘base load’ stations.
Ardau units can be ramped up in around ten minutes and closed down in less. This means that in an installation with multiple Ardau units, individual systems can be shut down in periods of low demand and quickly restarted when demand goes back up, so providing a ‘flexible load’ at a constant low cost.
Any carboniferous material can be used to feed the chemical reaction. These include:
- Fossil Fuels – Coal; Lignite; Coal Waste; Oil; Petroleum Coke
- Biomass – Wood and Wood Waste; Agricultural Waste; Livestock Waste
- General Waste – Plastics; Municipal Waste; Factory Waste; Medical Waste; Sewage
Outputs from Ardau systems:
Electricity As described earlier.
Output Gases The turbo expander outputs a mixture of gases, primarily carbon dioxide and nitrogen. These can all be captured and stored (carbon capture and storage). If required the different gases can be separated and sold.
Hydrogen Current methods of generating hydrogen are expensive. The output from an Ardau system can be used to produce hydrogen at a lower cost in two different ways:
- Some of the supercritical fluid from the reactor is passed directly to a conventional ‘steam reforming’ installation where it supplies the heat necessary for that process.
- Some or all of the electricity from the turbo-expander is used to ‘split’ water to generate hydrogen in a standard ‘electrolyser’.
Because the reactor generates power so efficiently the cost of the hydrogen produced is reduced significantly in both cases.
Clean Water Clean water is a by-product of the Ardau process, so the installation can function as a low cost desalination facility.
Sterile and inert inorganic matter that can be sold for hardcore.
Who or What Can Benefit By Using Ardau?
- The Planet as the Ardau process emits no pollutants so reducing global warming
- Existing Power Generators who can both use cheap fuel and become ‘green’
- Regions and Countries seeking to be environmentally responsible
- Corporations seeking to offset or reduce their carbon/environmental footprint
- Businesses as Ardau installations can be extremely profitable
- Remote Communities who do not have access to a power grid