(Concord, NH) — The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $3 million award to the team of Creare, a Hanover, NH-based engineering research and development company, and IMBY Energy of Peterborough, NH.
The grant will support the development of a Brayton-cycle microturbine that will be packaged into a unified energy system that will provide homes and commercial buildings with electricity, heat, air conditioning, and hot water.
Brayton technology has been a cornerstone of research and development at Creare throughout its 57- year history. Creare has successfully deployed the technology for long-duration space missions and other high-value NASA, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy applications. IMBY Energy partnered with Creare in 2015 to customize and commercialize the technology in IMBY’s unified energy system.
“IMBY set out to reduce building energy consumption by revolutionizing the way buildings use and generate energy,” said Steve Walker, founder of IMBY Energy. “Our energy system will reduce a homeowner’s energy bill by about 50%” and is designed to cost about $15,000 fully installed at a typical New England home. Once the system is fully tested, we expect to manufacture in the northeast.”
A self-taught engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, Walker previously founded and ran Jaffrey, NH- based New England Wood Pellet for 23 years.
IMBY’s system will run on conventional home heating fuels such as oil, propane or natural gas, but will be designed to allow conversion to renewable liquid biofuels or biogas. Electricity that is produced by the system that is surplus to the homeowner’s needs can be net metered to the electric utility, providing greater resiliency and reliability for the electric grid. The system eliminates the need for a backup generator, and will only be about the size of a large refrigerator.
“It’s very exciting to have this cutting edge and transformative technology being developed right here in New Hampshire,” said Madeleine Mineau, executive director of Clean Energy NH (CENH). “Walker’s vision and Creare’s engineering R&D capability can help revolutionize home energy generation and use.
This project is but one example of some very innovative clean energy technology development work taking place in the Granite State. We think this home energy generation technology can help foster a “smarter” grid as modernization of the electric grid in anticipation of more homeowners self-generating with solar and other technologies is now taking center stage among utility regulators.”