Editor’s note: The U.K.’s Dearman company has devised an engine that runs on liquid air. The wind industry interest is that surplus power from wind turbines could drive the equipment that liquefies air, which effectively becomes a power storage possibility.
Dearman, the clean cold and power company, was today joined by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, at the official opening of its ground-breaking Clean Cold and Power Technology Centre.
The new facility is home to Dearman’s extensive research and development activities, which are focused on the delivery of a range of zero-emission cold and power technologies.
The company is working on diverse applications of its technology for use in transportation, the built environment and logistics. All of these applications utilize the Dearman engine, a novel piston engine that is powered by the expansion of liquid air to provide clean cooling and power.
The Minister and senior Dearman executives were joined by representatives of industry and academia, for a tour of the new facility which includes: state-of-the-art engine test facilities; engine build and component machining facilities: and space for Dearman’s growing number of engineers, designers and analysts. The facility in Croydon, Greater London, also features all of the cryogenic infrastructure needed to run a series of liquid air cold and power systems.
Discussing the visit, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, said: “From an invention designed and built in the lab to this impressive technology centre, Dearman is one of the great success stories that gives the UK its reputation for driving innovation. I want to continue to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and grow a business and this new facility is a strong sign of the progress we are making to achieve this goal.”
Commenting, Toby Peters, Chief Executive of Dearman said: “Today is a momentous occasion for Dearman. Not just because it marks the opening of this ground-breaking research facility, which will be at the heart of Dearman innovation for years to come. But because it highlights the progress we have made, as a team, in such a short period of time.
“Just over three years ago Dearman and clean cold were nothing more than ideas. Today we are a company of more than 50 hugely talented people, we have our own bespoke facility, we have made huge strides in developing our technology and our first application will begin real-world deployment soon. With the rapidly increasing global demand for cold and cooling of all types, especially in the rapidly emerging and developing economies, our vision is to create and supply revolutionary clean cold and power systems that deliver strong environmental benefits and are equally commercially attractive. I am very proud to say that today, our vision of clean cold and power came one step closer to becoming a reality.”
The Dearman Clean Cold and Power Technology Centre is home to more than 40 people, the majority of whom are engineers and technicians. That number will grow in the years to come as Dearman plans to extend its activities, expand its range of applications and begin after-sales and support services.
The first application of Dearman technology is a zero-emission transport refrigeration system, which will begin commercial field trials later this year, before extensive international trials begin in 2016. Subsequent Dearman applications will include a clean power and cooling system for buildings, an auxiliary power unit for buses and HGVs, and a liquid air heat hybrid system for trucks and buses.
Dearman is also developing its world leading expertise, which will enable it to advise organisations on the application of integrated cold and power technologies, helping them to reduce emissions and save money.
Dearman is a global technology company delivering clean ‘cold and power’. The company’s technology harnesses liquid air to deliver zero-emission power and cooling. It is developing a portfolio of proprietary technologies, products and services, which deliver significant reductions in operating cost, fuel usage and emissions, at low capital cost.
The first application of Dearman technology, to provide sustainable and efficient zero-emission transport refrigeration, is currently undergoing trials at UK engineering and test centre, MIRA.
The company is building an international reputation for innovation, rigor, commercial acumen and engineering excellence, all to fulfill its primary objective – to make the world a cleaner, cooler place.
Filed Under: News
George Fleming says
This technology may be useful, but I think it is far less important than the promoters claim. First, it is not zero emission. That is impossible. Every energy plant creates some level of emissions and pollution over its lifetime.
It takes a lot of power to liquefy air. If they use only wind power, they might be able to claim “low emission”, but even that would have to be shown. But since the electric car promoters started the “zero emission” hype, there is a lot of pressure to make the same claim for other energy technologies. The only way to do that is to leave out the part about the energy input to the system.
Second, aside from the energy required to operate the cryogenic plants, it would take a lot of energy to build them, store the product and move it to the user. The user must also have a way to store and use it. The new infrastructure required would be enormous, if it were to have any noticeable effect. Where is the proof that using liquefied gases for air conditioning and other purposes would require less energy in the long run than other methods? There is no information about that on Dearman’s website. They don’t even mention how they liquefy the air.
Third, the Dearman engine, while ingenious, must have a very low power to weight ratio. It does not draw in a charge of high-energy fuel on each intake stroke. Instead, the only useful energy it takes in is the sensible heat in the heat exchange fluid, which is far less than would be available in a fuel charge. Is this engine worth the trouble, when it would take so much energy as outlined above to deliver the liquefied gas to it?
Finally, how safe is this stuff? Accidents would be inevitable.