Efficient Distributed Energy Generation System

EPA Contract Number: EPD10034
Title: Efficient Distributed Energy Generation System
Investigators: Steinshnider, Jeremy
Current Investigators: Steinshnider, Jeremy , Houy, Daniel
Small Business: Lynntech Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2010 through August 31, 2010
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Green Buildings


Distributed energy offers a means of providing reliable, cost-effective electrical power to residents of rural communities. These requirements often cannot be met by current distribution methods due to limitation of remote central station power generation and transmission. With the migration of population from urban areas to rural areas and the increased power demands placed on electrical grids from advances in technology, alternative electrical power sources are needed. Distributed energy solutions have the potential to provide a number of benefits that could otherwise not be achieved by other systems. These benefits include higher quality power, financial savings, and less environmental impact. Distributed generation eliminates the need for electric line installation and metering and resolves the issue of long blackout periods common in rural areas. A distributed generation system utilizing fuel cell technology also reduces the amount of CO2 produced from competing technologies while providing an equivalent amount of energy. A proton exchange membrane fuel cell, along with a propane reformer, offers the greatest means for achieving a distributed energy system capable of providing high-quality, reliable electricity with low noise and environmental impact for residential use in rural communities. Lynntech, Inc. proposes to develop and demonstrate a distributive system utilizing a fuel cell and propane reformer for residential applications as part of this SBIR effort.

This distributed generation power system, based on microchannel steam reforming and hydrogen fuel cell technology, will enable remote power for rural communities, where installation grid connected power is prohibitively expensive. This power system can be scaled to meet the requirements of both large and small residential homes, as well as groups of homes and communities. Beyond distributed generation, this technology has applications in powering systems such as communication towers and remote chem/bio sensors for homeland security, as a power source for unmanned aerial vehicles, and as backup/auxiliary power during disaster relief and national emergencies.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, green buildings, distributed energy, generation system, fuel cell, propane reformer, residential buildings, power system, energy, rural communities, grid power, homeland security, aerial vehicles, disaster relief, national emergencies, hydrogen fuel cell, microchannel steam reforming, remote power, rural power,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report