Innovation That Matters

The startup has created the world's first true isothermal heat engine | Photo source Luminescent

An engine turns waste heat into clean electricity

Agriculture & Energy

The system can also store up to 20 hours of renewable energy and transfer electricity back to the grid

Spotted: Various studies have estimated that around 20 to 50 per cent of industrial energy consumption is discharged as waste heat – and up to 30 per cent of this could be harnessed and utilised. Looking to make use of the heat emitted by traditional engines, Israel-based startup Luminescent has built a system that produces zero-emission electricity. 

A small, isothermal engine upcycles waste heat and is designed to fit alongside conventional large engines and generators in order to send electricity back to the grid. If needed, the Luminescent device stores between 8 and 20 hours of renewable energy.  

The new device uses a heat transfer liquid to gather and move the heat emitted from another engine into the upcycling system. The liquid is then mixed with either air or gas and put under pressure, which causes the material to expand – this expansion converts the liquid into kinetic energy that powers a generator. The generator can then run other devices and systems, store power, or send electricity back to the grid. 

Currently working at around 70 per cent efficiency, the system could become available commercially in the next two to three years. Luminescent plans to use the $7 million (around €6.5 million) it raised recently in a round of seed funding to bring the engine to market.  

From the excess heat of public transport systems heating homes to car parks heating the buildings above, Springwise has spotted many ways innovators are making use of previously wasted emissions and resources.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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