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Power for Joe Sixpack
Matteran Energy Corporation

Joe Sixpack's
Executive Summary

Ours is a steam power plant that uses refrigerant instead of steam (it's called an ORC Rankine cycle).

Well, it used to be a Rankine cycle until we eliminated the working fluid feed pump, and replaced it with our own patented method for recycling the working fluid.

Now it's called a Matteran Energy cycle. What's it good for? It produces power without oil, gas, coal, or wood, nor super expensive solar collectors. To make electricity it takes heat from something warm, processes the heat into power, and then dumps the majority of that heat back to the earth.

The important thing is that the heat source only needs to be about 40oF hotter than the surrounding environmental temperature (ambient).

That's like the heat in a garden hose sitting in the sun.

Hotter is better, but the most important factors are "how much of this heat is available?" and "how much is it going to cost to collect this heat?."

It operates on a unique US patented cycle. Power plants based on this technology will produce electricity, hydrogen, air conditioning, refrigeration, hydraulic power, and irrigation.

It's economical for cogeneration, being fueled by man-made renewable thermal sources including waste heat from factories, freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and the heat by-product from fuel cells.

It's also mighty handy for remote applications fueled by cheap solar collectors, normally-ignored-'warm'-geothermal sources, bio fuels, chimneys, firewood, trash, or any other source of warmth.

Want to know more?


SATOP Report

Scientific validation
Sept. 2005. A study commissioned by the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP) concludes that our cycle is equal or more efficient than the 150 year old Rankine cycle. SATOP's theoretical analysis was performed across a wide range of input temperatures, including an energy source of only 150o Fahrenheit. This is much too low a temperature for a commercial organic Rankine cycle power plant, but it's a temperature with which we routinely operate at our outdoor East Everglades facility.


Eliminating the Feed-pump

In an effort to reduce the 'actual' inefficiency of very low temperature Rankine cycles, our patented power plant eliminates the working fluid feed pump. We replace it with a simple method for cycling the spent working fluid, effectively freeing the cycle of a principle component of its mechanical inefficiency. Technically speaking, without a feedpump, this is no longer a Rankine cycle.







Making a Case For Low Temperature Thermal Energy Conversion



How hot is renewable energy? How 'hot' is renewable energy?
Most 'alternative' thermal energy is found at a temperature below that of steam or boiling water (below 212o F). Consider these facts: solar energy is most economically collected at 105o-150oFahrenheit; a geothermal temperature of 160o F exists only 200 feet underground throughout most of the State of Nevada; industrial waste heat is most prevalent at temperatures between 160o - 250o Fahrenheit.


Is that hot enough to run a power plant?

Compared to 'alternative' thermal sources, commercial 'organic Rankine cycle' power plants generally require heat sources hotter than those that are economically obtained from renewable sources. Modern geothermal power plants require a minimum heat source of 320o F, largely in consequence to the mechanical inefficiency of the mechanical feedpump required by all Rankine cycles.


The Cost of Renewable Energy.

The cost of naturally occurring renewable energy is a result of the cost of the collection apparatus multiplied by the efficiency of the power plant. (The mechanical power plant is a small fraction of the cost of the collection apparatus.)


Our advantage:
The upshot of the patented Matteran cycle is that it is predicted to make economical power at Rankine cycle efficiencies within any temperature range, whereas 'organic Rankine cycles' become less economical at the lower energy end of the environmental thermal spectrum.


Solar thermal

Sunshine is free, but consider the cost of a large, curved, shiny mirrored assembly that must swivel to track the sun, and concentrate sunshine into a 400o-700oF fluid.

Compare that to the cost of a simple immobile flat plate collector, producing equal Btu's per square meter, but at a temperature of 150oF.

The flat plate actually converts sunshine to thermal energy at a much higher efficiency than the parabolic monstrosity, measured both in Btu/dollar and Btu/ft2.

One might propose that the higher temperatures produced by the parabolic collector would produce a Rankine cycle of a higher efficiency. This is true. However, the greater expense for the collectors far outweighs the benefits of a power cycle that would convert, for example, that 40X more-expensive thermal energy into 4X more power.


Geothermal energy

Two hundred feet beneath the surface of most of the State of Nevada, (and much of the West, there exists a geothermal temperature averaging 160o Fahrenheit. One drilling company in Reno has drilled more than 3,000 geothermal wells for heating homes, swimming pools, and spas. However, even with an unlimited demand for residential and small commercial power plants, 'organic Rankine cycles' do not produce economical electricity from these low-grade geothermal resources. It appears that Matteran's cycle may be satisfactorily economic in just such an application.


Co-generation and firewood

A similar logic applies to co-generated energy, which is more abundant at temperatures below 250o Fahrenheit than above it.

And, needless to say, steam boilers are out of the question for remote residential applications. Our power cycle operates at temperatures and pressures typical of air conditioning and refrigeration apparatus.


OTEC - ocean thermal energy conversion

It's quite possible that the sole opportunity to operate an economic OTEC power plant based on its electric output might be limited to our own thermodynamic cycle. We'll try it someday.


Energy independence

Renewable heat sources are rarely suited to the temperature requirements of modern thermal power plants. Thus, our unique opportunity is to help bring to the market power plants optimized for these unused and overlooked thermal resources. Renewable thermal energy sources are non-polluting They are either a byproduct of our industrial processes or easily collected from the biosphere. And of equal importance, they can be collected right here in America.




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