Nirvana Energy Systems, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup company founded by two Stanford Professors, announced today that it had developed an efficient micro-combined heat and power (µ-CHP) system for home use that converts gas into electricity and provides for domestic water and space heating. The Nirvana µ-CHP is also expected to find wide use as a replacement of water heaters and boilers used throughout the world. The system is silent, compact and provides the home energy needs at a fraction of the cost of grid supplied power and heating. Nirvana's Thermo Acoustic Power Stick™ (TAPS™) can be networked into a virtual power plant, reducing CO2 emissions and lowering capital costs for providing power via conventional grid based systems.
Nirvana achieved a key breakthrough in cost of the Power Stick by teaming with Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, and NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland Ohio. Based in part on technology developed by PARC and further refined by NASA Glenn — and exclusively licensed to the company — Nirvana designed and developed a low cost, thermo-acoustic power amplifier for home use. The Nirvana Power Stick™ produces between 1-4 KW of electrical power, and 15 KW of thermal power, with system efficiency over 90%.
"The Power Stick, which can operate continuously, will allow customers to lower their energy bills by creating both their own electric power and sufficient heat for domestic water and space heating purposes. Where permitted, consumers will also have the option of selling excess electric power back to the grid, thus becoming net producers of electricity for their communities" , says co-founder James (Jim) Gibbons. "Distributed home energy generation provides an attractive solution for utility operators as well", says co-founder Lambertus (Bert) Hesselink, "as networked µ-CHPs become virtual power plants potentially dampening peak electricity demands, thereby lowering electricity cost to consumers".
The environmental benefits of the Nirvana Power Stick closed system are also potentially significant. Standby coal fired plants with significant CO2 emissions and the need for considerable cooling water often provide peak electricity demand. These impacts are minimized with the efficient, gas fueled u-CHP system designed by Nirvana.
"The Power Stick is a breakthrough product", says Ann Miura-Ko, partner at Floodgate, the lead investor in Nirvana, "providing an affordable solution to consumers that will lower their energy bills, reduce greenhouse gases, and make each home self sufficient in energy generation, even during times of natural disasters". Additionally, solar thermal heating can further increase energy savings and lowering operating costs by reducing the need for gas.
Nirvana Energy Systems, Inc. is a Delaware corporation, with headquarters in Portola Valley, California, and R&D facilities in Cleveland, Ohio.