Optimization and sustainable design for clean production of SPEAR hydro
Archee, an SME based in Slovakia, focuses on the design and development of alternative sustainable energy solutions. The main purpose of the company is to develop and produce sustainable energy solutions in energy production and energy use, primarily oriented around low-carbon/ carbon-neutral materials, passive heating, or cooling technologies. The company focuses on bringing cutting-edge innovations to the market in the segment of sustainable energy sources, architecture, and urban design. A SPEAR power plan is currently the company’s main product that is under development, with two variants: SPEAR hydro and SPEAR aero.
Within the KET4CleanProduction project, the company focused on the optimization of the design for clean production of SPEAR hydro non-rotational energy harvesting power plant. The main improvements are visible in the overall power output, reconfiguration of internal machinery, the introduction of modularity, reduction of raw materials consumption, and the application of environmentally friendly biofouling coating to prevent algae build-up.
KET Technology Centers involved
Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft für angewandte Forschung e.V | Germany
INL- International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory | Portugal
Due to the Project, greater efficiency was achieved through the modification of blade design, suspension, and bearing design. Moreover, more cost-effective, sustainable production will need less material. Based on the blade system modification, the entire generator and inside machinery were reconfigured to be deployed within a standardised recycled shipping container. The modification reduced the overall number of components, decreased material consumption, and the complexity of the system. The reconfigured container-generators are easily maintained and replaced.
The development of eco-friendly top-coat formulation with biofouling properties will significantly help decrease maintenance and associated costs, as well as increase the number of days per year of continuous operation. The nanocoating is eco-friendly compared to available products on the market and needs to be reapplied less often (with no algae build-up interrupting operation). Standard biofouling coating is toxic to the environment, and therefore, not usable.
The research, design modification and optimization done in collaboration with our partners Hahn-Schickard and INL under the KET4CP Project will allow our solution - SPEAR to enrich the renewable energy market and introduce a sustainable green power generation directly in the heart of cities and urban areas, where the energy is needed the most. We are grateful to our partners for this cooperation.
With our experience in the fields of energy harvesting and numerical simulation we were able to support our SME partner in his project. At the same time, we were able to establish new co-operations through this project and further expand our own competences.
The cooperation with the Technology centres provided the startup with key advancements in the overall design of the product, making it more sustainable from both the research and business perspectives.
The primary success factor was the design optimisation of the blade system and the computational fluid dynamics analysis and simulations. Those findings and refinements led to higher efficiency and greater energy output. The optimisation will lead to a more modular design, reducing the consumption of construction materials. Another milestone was the development of a nanocoating used to cover the underneath of the SPEAR mobile power plant. The environmentally friendly nanocoating will remove the chemical hazard to the environment, posed by the current standard coatings, and will reduce the maintenance duration and costs. The research and work conducted during the project have, thus, given the solution a critical sustainability boost.