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Matteran Energy presents a "motorless feedpump" for power, refrigeration, and air conditioning cycles, powered by renewable energy.

An experimental small scale power plant is producing electricity and refrigeration temperatures fueled simply by the heat in warm water - typically 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

"This patented cycle utilizes renewable thermal energy at its most economically efficient collection temperatures. In a significant development in June 2006, the experimental power cycle produced air conditioning and refrigeration temperatures. The refrigerated section attained a chilly 41deg F (5degC). The energy source was simmering water at 159deg F (71deg C), typical of temperatures obtained from common, rooftop solar hot water collectors."


Contents

Official Website


Patent

Assigned to Jeffrey Stephen Sterling

  • U.S. Patent 5,685,152; Apparatus and method for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy; November 11, 1997
Abstract 
A thermal energy storage and conversion system that captures thermal energy from solar collectors, stores thermal energy in a first heated medium, converts a portion of stored thermal energy to mechanical energy by utilization of a heat engine, converts a second portion of stored thermal energy to a thermal energy sink by utilization of a refrigeration device, and stores a portion of thermal energy sink for use later. While the sun is shining, energy is collected and stored in first heated medium. Both during day and night, a portion of stored energy in first heated storage medium is transferred to first refrigerant that vaporizes and provides mechanical energy to heat engine. A second portion of stored thermal energy in first heated medium is transferred, as needed, to second refrigerant which vaporizes and removes from second fluid medium a quantity of heat including second fluid medium's heat of fusion, thereby freezing the second medium. Solidified second medium then provides, during both day and night, a low temperature heat sink to help drive heat engine, a low temperature source of refrigeration for cooling an enclosed space, and an efficient, compact, and user friendly energy storage device.
  • U.S. Patent 5,974,804; Apparatus and method for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy; November 2, 1999
Abstract 
A thermal energy conversion and storage system incorporating a motorless compressor that converts intermittent thermal energy to a low temperature thermal energy heat sink, and stores the thermal energy heat sink for use later. The low temperature heat sink can drive an ambient powered heat engine, is a low temperature source of refrigeration for cooling an enclosed space, and is an efficient energy storage device.
  • U.S. patents pending
  • Patent pending in European Union

Inventor: Jeff Sterling

[Bio here.]

Self Evaluation

On July 13, 2006, Jeff Sterling provided the following self-evaluation of this technology according to the criteria set forth by the New Energy Congress.

The answers provided represent the score given by Jeff according to a scale from 0 to 10.

I. Renewable 
5
II. Environmental Impact 
10
III. Cost (cents / kw-h) 
4
IV. Credibility of Evidence 
5
V. Stability / Reliability 
5
VI. Implementation 
5
VII. Safety/Danger to Persons 
10
VIII. Politics of science 
7
IX. Open-Source conducive 
2
X. Stage of Device Development 
4

Coverage

NEC Comments

Useful Conventional Science

On July 5, 2006, New Energy Congress member, Mark Dansie wrote:

It uses conventional science but its application of it would be very usefull. ...This would have to [rank high]. ...Results look promising.

A Feasible Solar Approach

On July 5, 2006, New Energy Congress member, Robert Indech, PhD PE, wrote:


This closed cyle is quite innovative, and appears to take advantage of the moderately raised temperature of the working fluid under direct (nonconcentrated) solar radiation. I would expect though, as a closed thermodynamic system, that its efficiency would be Carnot cycle limited (i.e. efficiency = 100% x (Temp-High minus Temp-Low)/Temp-High) whereby the temperature is measured relative to absolute zero. For a 160 degree high and 80 degree low, the maximum efficiency is ((460+160)-(460+80))/(460+160)x 100% = 16%. This efficiency is a theoretical maximum, and is quite independent of the internal operating pressures. On the other hand, with a useful solar irradiance of 300 watts per square meter, even 16% efficiency will yield 48 watts per square meter of usable power, which could serve as a refrigerator, air conditioner, etc in a tight, low heat transfer system.

The simplicity of direct solar radiation as a power source cannot be understated. Further, large scale solar collectors at 160 degrees may be as simple as a large thin black water filled flat rigid bag. Regulation of pressure would depend on the turbine selected, but large pressure differentials are not needed. However, one must make sure that the heat so collected is sufficient to actually vaporize the working fluid in a mass flow rate sufficient to operate the turbine. Remember that the latent heat of vaporization of the working fluid, particularly water, is quite high. Thus, a large surface exposed to the sun may be necessary to get sufficient energy to actually operate the system.

The cycle itself is innovative and interesting. The device would find favor in isolated communities where conventional power sources are not available, as for example in remote areas of third world countries or in the deserts. Thus, there is worth in the device.

The direct competition for such technology is solar cells, which achieve a 16-18% conversion efficiency routinely, but may be much more expensive than this unit for larger surface areas.


Additional Comment by Robert Indech, PhD PE, on July 7.


As I understand it, the temperature on the cycle rotates through 80-160 degrees F. Step 1 is heating of the working fluid in a sun chamber to a vapor by the sun to 160 deg. and X1 PSI (varies). Step 2 is extracting energy by the turbine to lower pressure to Y1 (psi) and lower temperature with subsequent condensation to a liquid. Step 3, the liquid accumulates in a reservior, and is externally cooled. Step 4, periodically, the liquid is pushed across a pressure gradient (X1-Y1) to the sun chamber and recirculated.

My comments as noted [above] are critical of the cycle as they illustrate it.


Saturated Rankine cycle

On July 7, 2006, New Energy Congres member, Ken Rauen wrote:

This is just a saturated Rankine cycle! Nothing new here...

Contact

Jeff Sterling
email: jeffsterling@matteranenergy.us
phone: 786 797 7007


Matteran Energy
9061 SW 156th St., Suite A122
Village of Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157

Recognitions

Image:Matteran thumbnail 240.jpg Display File Source


The Matteran "motorless feedpump" was exhibited at the Top 100 Clean Energy Technologies Display at the Environmental Hall of Fame in Chicago, 2008

Comments

See Discussion page

See also


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