For the last seven years, the Cygnus Atratus (Black Swan) Group has been developing a number of clean energy technologies. Decades of developments by earlier companies have now matured with results that have been immensely encouraging and innovative. Commercialisation of our fuel cell and allied technologies rests in two areas. The first is in community power based on waste to energy, the second is for transportation applications on land and sea.
Community power is based on the premise that localities want to ensure their energy security and would prefer not to export their own valuable resources to others. We are therefore setting up regional Collaborative Manufacturing Enterprises (CMEs). They are provided with two technology strands, fuel cells and hydrogen production expertise based on organic waste. The fuel cell provides electricity, water and heat. Waste management covers bio-digestion, pyrolysis, fertiliser production, gas reforming, gas separation and monitoring for hydrogen production.
The CMEs are independent start-up companies without ties to larger or existing entities. Their staff are trained in the production, application, installation and management of the systems and, in return, they provide profits for technology research, a contribution to the community and dividends to shareholders.
Distributed electricity generation using bio-generated gas for use in fuel cell systems is the most sustainable solution for low cost energy. Large state, public and private utilities are unable to provide systems at reasonable cost to meet growing energy demands or for the reversal of climate change and air pollution. It is not feasible to increase existing grid capacity or conventional energy production, in either developed or emerging economies, without costs significantly exceeding the cost of implementation of CME fuel cell systems. Government action has focussed on paying huge sums to existing companies to modify the electricity generating infrastructure without supporting the energy storage technologies which could make them cost effective. Instead, inefficient fossil fuel generators are kept on standby to meet peak demands.
The advantages of our technology are unparalleled reliability of 99.999%, independent local energy security and additions can be made to larger systems without downtime. CMEs offer electricity pricing substantially below conventional technology without requiring subsidies, rebates or credits. The CME will use renewable organic feed stocks, including municipal, industrial, commercial and agricultural waste or sustainable crops for the production of hydrogen. The CME will supply systems grouped into units supplying between 50kW and 1MW, providing power to multiples of dwellings, commercial and industrial sites. In turn, these can be connected into a distributed network, similar to the cellular system adopted by mobile telephone operators.
AVAILABILITY OF WASTE FOR ENERGY
Energy can be generated at existing material recovery facilities, which are collection depots for municipal and commercial waste before shipment to landfills or incinerators. In Europe, the European Union Waste Directive will eliminate landfills by 2020. Waste can also be directly reformed into hydrogen on micro-sites. Our Gasified Anaerobic Digester (GAD™) provides the technology to make possible localised waste management, eliminating transport and disposal costs.
The CME partners with community, municipal, commercial and industrial customers to manage waste, electric utilities and water as sustainable resources. Organic material is converted by bio-digestion and thermal gasification into biogas and syngas. These gases are then reformed into hydrogen for fuel cells generating electricity. The by-products of this process are marketable commodities: water, heat and CO2 (used as a refrigerant or growth enhancer for crops such as algae).
COMBINED HEAT AND POWER (CHP)
The heat can be produced cost effectively when energy is generated on site to provide combined heat and power (CHP). If used in conjunction with improved insulation, this can eliminate the need for a separate fuel for heating. Municipal, industrial and commercial waste can provide up to 80% of a community’s electricity and heat requirements, with the shortfall supplemented by natural gas or the conversion of agricultural energy products.
COST EFFECTIVE HYDROGEN PRODUCTION
Industrial hydrogen production is expensive and dependent on natural gas. The utilisation of waste as a feedstock to produce hydrogen will avoid the cost of commercial waste remediation and provide a revenue stream that may allow for negative hydrogen production costs. That would be less than the cost which would otherwise be incurred in removing and storing the waste.
Our alkaline fuel cells (ACE™) are a novel technology manufactured using advanced processes including 3D mass production, commonly found parts and low cost materials.
The main attributes of the technology are:
zero CO2, NOx, SOx and particulates;
70°C to 90°C operating temperature;
60-70% electrical efficiency;
30% thermal capacity;
95% recyclable; 80% refurbishable;
low maintenance; quick start;
modular; low noise; low vibration;
suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
Innovations in materials, component technologies and the manufacturing process allow the technology to be offered at below world average per kWh pricing. Balance of Plant systems are simple, modular and designed for ease of operation, maintenance and component reuse. The system and its oversight are operated by remote management which will provide data for strategic management of electricity, water consumption and other by-products. It will be based on cell phone connectivity being embedded in the system. The telematics will also incorporate security systems against tampering or theft.
CME markets include: utilities, municipalities, community development, schools, agricultural producers, critical services, commercial and industrial complexes, data centres, waste-to-energy, marine and shore-to-ship, airports, coal gasification and the chemical industry. The CME systems are applicable anywhere with hydrogen fuel being made available by waste management.
The CME will generally launch production with a minimum of 250kW in commercial Energy Service Agreements, representing sufficient sales to reach positive cash flow.
CUTTING NO2, PARTICULATES AND CO2
For transport, the Cygnus Atratus ethanol fuel cell is entirely novel, using a blend of ethanol instead of hydrogen. The fuel cell uses the same architecture and production methodologies as our classic hydrogen powered technology. The ethanol is produced from waste, thereby reducing the cost to the end user. Ethanol, being a liquid, provides an excellent fuel for vehicles and marine applications.
It’s time to be done with diesel! The CO2 it produces puts our planet in danger, while NO2, particulates and other pollutants put our health in danger. London’s current air pollution crisis is responsible for over 9000 premature deaths a year and countless health problems. Combustion is responsible for much of the air pollution, whereas electrochemical conversion does not create any harmful emissions, only pure water. The electrochemical process also separates any carbon dioxide present in the biofuel so that it can be safely recycled.
We use renewable, carbon-free biofuel derived from waste in electricity generating fuel cells which are cheaper than any alternative technology. Our novel technology transforms waste into an energy dense liquid fuel that is easy to produce and distribute and is significantly cheaper than diesel. We’ve partnered with the renowned taxi company Frankum and Kaye to recycle redundant existing vehicles into the world’s first remanufactured taxis running on waste reformed fuel. Mechanical and operational design is overseen by engineering academics from Imperial College and Southampton University. Our proprietary fuel cell technology will shortly be available for taxi trials. Operating systems have been determined and the architecture of the stacks has been designed and is under test.
The taxis are recovered London Taxi International vehicles and are always available. Traction is provided by linear induction hub motors manufactured in London, complete with controllers which have been rigorously tested in sports vehicles. The total funds required to put the taxis on the road and meet free positive cash flow will be approximately three million pounds.
The company will use the same technology to recycle local authority vehicles. The renewal of these fleets as zero emission will significantly improve the air quality of London. Finally London buses will be converted. The value of these vehicles will be enhanced without significant cost and the increased efficiency of the systems will greatly reduce long term operating costs.
AIR POLLUTION CRISIS
London needs rapid action to tackle its air pollution crisis while also becoming a world leader in sustainable, carbon-free technology. By keeping research, manufacturing and deployment within London, our technology will be built from the ground up around the unique needs of this city and those who live in it, instead of importing and imposing an imperfect solution.
Our aim is to lead. Not just in the quality of our products, but in the ethical standards of our business as we solve social problems by supporting local infrastructure and providing a benchmark for responsible business that can be copied in other cities. We hope to use our success to foster a thriving community of carbon-free technology companies and innovators, so that the world will know to look to London for solutions to the global problems of urban air pollution and CO2 reduction. Most importantly, we want everyone in London to live happier, healthier lives.