Thermoacoustic Innovative Technology for Waste Heat Recovery Applications  

Since the generation and usage of energy from fossil fuel sources leads to a number of technical and societal challenges, marine transport and industrial sectors within the United Kingdom, and the European Union, seek for possibilities to reduce the consumption of these fuels. One way to achieve this is through waste heat recovery technologies as on average 35% of all marine engine combustion energy is lost as waste heat through exhaust gases.

Why Thermoacoustic (TA) and How Does it Work?

TAs is a relatively new technology that is concerned with a direct conversion of internal heat into internal sound (or conversely using intense sound to transport heat). The intention is that TITAN will use this physical effect to develop a novel TA device which will generate useful electricity (as an output) indirectly from the exhaust heat. This generator will be based on a modified Stirling Engine concept using the principle of a travelling-wave looped topology, as shown in the Figure below. The intention is that the first application of this device will be in marine vessels as their use of sea water supplies the ideal temperature difference.

Initial Titan Prototype

Initial Titan Prototype

What are the Project Aims?

TITAN focuses on the development of a small scale TA prototype system. This prototype will be able to operate at temperatures from typically 100°C up to 500°C, at high pressure (from about 40mbar up to about 50bar). It will use Helium, or pressurised atmospheric air, as the (internal) working medium with an efficiency of at least 5% to 10%.

What are the Benefits?

The TITAN project will allow boat owners and operators to use waste heat for the recovery to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The TITAN technology will enable net CO2 emission reductions through the improved fuel efficiency of the marine vessels, and other vehicle types where the technology is applied.