Waste heat can be exploited to supply residential areas in metropolitan areas. In rural areas, however, the economic feasibility of district heating networks is at best marginal. Nevertheless, owners of detached houses could still benefit from the efficiency advantage given by the combination of heat and power with nano CHP , as Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Metz from the Faculty of Process Engineering of the Technical University of Nuremberg learned from his research.
As part of the project “ Energy Harvesting in Residential Buildings – Advance Development of a Nano CHP Uni t”, scientists are taking a closer look at the advantages provided by nano CHPs based on thermoelectric generators (TEG), compared with the CHP systems previously available with gas engines, steam engines, Stirling engines or fuel cells. The aim of the scientists is also to investigate the potential of materials and manufacturing methods currently being developed. In addition to natural gas, nano CHP units should also be suitable for fuels such as heating oil, LPG or wood fuels. If the project result proves to be positive, then the subject is likely to be further developed up to market readiness with suitable industrial partners.