IBES

The future of renewable energy

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IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, November and December 2017

By on 19/12/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

This is our eight and last status update from Dubai this year.

Update #8, December 2017

We have run another batch of tests in late November and early December, using different configuration of the two new HX coils designed after last testing period. These were installed in the expanded boiler chamber. Unfortunately we did not achieve the improvements we had hoped for. Analyzing the data recorded from this last test batch we believe we have a more fundamental issue with our burner/boiler which was originally designed to solely heat water. We have also realized that we will need more expertise related to heat exchangers, steam generation and energy conversion in general than we have access to here in Dubai today. And we need these resources on-site when and where we are testing the prototype. So far we have flown in the expertise to Dubai for short visits. Not only has this cost us money, it is also very inefficient in terms of making progress.

We are contemplating different ways forward but it is clear we need more expertise to be available and be able to work directly together. We do not have this here in Dubai so one option is to continue somewhere where this expertise exists. The most apparent option for us is Europe, or more specifically Denmark where our largest owner is located. There, biomass knowledge and expertise is readily available from private sector as well as a number universities that have focused on renewables and biomass.  The IBES board will be discussing this in the weeks to come and we hope to have a final plan for the way forward by early next year.

This is, understandably, not how we wanted to end the year. That said, the entire team still believes in the concept and are committed to take it to its conclusion. It will just take longer than we had anticipated. We will post an update when we know what our next step is. The IBES team wish all our followers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Schedule for the next three months

The IBES Board of Directors will be discussing the options and formulate a plan forward in the next few weeks.  If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, October 2017

By on 16/11/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

This is our seventh status update from Dubai.

Update #7, October 2017

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

In last month’s newsletter I promised an update on how testing of the extended HX space went. Unfortunately we were not able to manufacture the extended space to a quality we were happy with by means of the material that was available to us at that time. Instead, all the parts needed for the next step has been put on order and we will be building and testing the next version starting end of November.

The results from the last batch of testing is very encouraging.  With every new configuration of the HX tested, we have experienced improvement in output. We have so far tried 32 HX configurations, using five different coils. On one of the last runs, we achieved over 50% of the set target. Doing these test runs have given us a much better understanding of how the energy conversion takes place in the system and, more importantly, where. Armed with this information we have designed the next version of the HX and the HX chamber.

If we do not meet any unexpected challenges the outcomes of that testing batch will be announced in the next newsletter in the beginning of December.

 

Schedule for the next three months

Although the timelime has been delayed, the plan remains to, first of all, get the HX fully operational before we run endurance test on the Cyclone engine.  Our revised plan set aside up to 3 more months to achieve the first phase, ie HX output.  If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, September 2017

By on 14/10/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

This is our sixt status update from Dubai.

Update #6, September 2017

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

Our apologies for the delay in posting this update.

The team has spent a lot of time designing, testing and then redesigning the heat exchanger (HX) again. We are now on our version 6 of the HX, each with several different configurations. For each configuration we have run the system for 1 to 1.5 hours to record the output and other parameters. Although output has again improved slightly (with some of the configurations), we are still falling short of our targets. We are able to maintain a stable speed on the engine/alternator and generate electricity but still well below what we need. On the positive side, we have run the engine for over 42 hours now and faced no issues with it.

The main problem  now is the space we have available in the boiler for the HX. We have tried to squeeze the HX into the space already available but have now realized that there is no way around expanding the HX beyond what there is room for currently. Already in August we knew that this was an issue and had planned to expand the space but then eventually decided to work with what was available. So, having met the wall in terms of amount of energy we can convert with the current HX and space, we are now doubling the space where the HX sits. This will allow us to more than double the HX area (tube length) and improve the energy conversion. We hope to have this ready within a few days and will post the results in a separate update.

 

This little videoclip shows the system running with the best HX configuration we have had so far. The output is stable but also low, the engine just running fast enough to excite the alternator.


Schedule for the next three months

From Mid-October : Working on expanding the HX space in the boiler and increase/redesign the HX. First when the targets have been met will we move on to endurance testing of the Cyclone engine.

If and when testing is successful, IBES will start preparations for manufacturing of production units. If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, August 2017

By on 08/09/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

This is our fifth status update from Dubai.

Update #5, August 2017

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

In August we saw a lot of activity and work taking place with the heath-exchanger (HX). Unfortunately, we were not able to reach all our targets with any of the three HX designs that we manufactured and tested. Although the pressure target (1000 psi) is met, we are just shy of half way to the temperature target (550 Centigrade). With this output we have been able to generate electricity but just a fraction of what the system is designed for.

We have run the system for about 15 hours and again the Cyclone engine has functioned well. Another positive outcome of this month’s work is that we have gathered a lot of data on the system from the various runs we have done. With this in hand we have been able to come up with a revised solution for the HX  that we believe will bring us much closer to the goal. This next step will include expanding the space in the furnace to accommodate the redesigned and larger HX.

 

Schedule for the next three months

From Mid-September : Implement the new designs for the furnace and the HX and test. First when the targets have been met will we move on to endurance testing of the Cyclone engine.

If and when testing is successful, IBES will start preparations for manufacturing of production units. If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, July 2017

By on 06/08/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

This is our fourth status update from Dubai.

Update #4, July 2017

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

July has been a month of slow progress as we have been waiting for delivery of the heat-exchanger (HX) pipe and a few other parts. In collaboration with our partners, two HX designs have been prepared and will be manufactured and tested out in August. On the positive side, the team has taken advantage of the low level of activity to get some much needed vacation time. We will be back strong in August.

 

Schedule for the next three months

August: Redesign and manufacture new heat exchanger and test.

End of August to mid-October: endurance testing. The system will be run 24/7 and the goal is to get at least 500 hours of operation without incidents on it. The system will be shut down and the engine inspected for wear and tear regularly: every 10 hours at the start and, at progressively longer periods, thereafter.

If and when testing is successful, IBES will start preparations for manufacturing of production units. If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, June 2017

By on 06/07/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

Good day to you all. This is the third update from us about progress on development and testing of our biomass generator. June was another busy month and all the parts are now together. We are, however, sliding further behind with our schedule and are now two months behind the original schedule. What continues to delay the endurance testing is the heat exchanger which we still have to get to produce steam with the correct parameters.

Update #3, June 2017

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

In June we have received the last missing parts and finalised the integration of all components, most visibly the alternator.

In our last update I mentioned that we would first try increasing the draft in the flue to resolve the heat exchanger issue. With the solution, a fan forcing air through the flue, we saw big improvements but we have still not met the target values. Therefore, we have turned our attention to the heat exchanger (HX) itself.

When dismantling the current HX we found some build-up on the inside of the pipe, possibly leading to less energy being transferred to the fluid/steam inside the pipe. After consulting with our partners, we are re-designing the HX layout as well as upgrading to a more heat resilient pipe material. Unfortunately, this has led to an additional month of delay. On the positive side, the engine has run flawlessly for the 10 hours or so it has been in operation.

The system with alternator in place
A top view of the business part of the unit. Cyclone engine with high pressure pump on the right; MeccAlte alternator on the left. The fuel feed can be seen in the middle below the gauges.

Challenges:

The main challenge remains the heat exchanger. As mentioned above we have increased the output (to about 800psi) by forcing the draft in the flue but we are still not meeting the target values: 1000psi and 550 Centigrade. Our next step to resolve this is to redesign the HX.

Video:

The video below shows a short run of the engine, with the alternator attached. As you can see from the gauges we reach a maximum pressure of about 800psi but with a relatively low temperature of 270 Centigrade. The engine runs at about 900rpm, which is short of the 1500rpm needed. Note that the pressure gauge to the right erroneously is showing in excess of 2000psi.


Schedule for the next three months

July and first half of August: Redesign and manufacture new heat exchanger and test.

Second part of August to mid-October: endurance testing. The system will be run 24/7 and the goal is to get at least 500 hours of operation without incidents on it. The system will be shut down and the engine inspected for wear and tear regularly: every 10 hours at the start and, at progressively longer periods, thereafter.

If and when testing is successful, IBES will start preparations for manufacturing of production units. If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update, May 2017

By on 02/06/2017

Regular status update of IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

Good day to you all. This is the second update from us about progress on development and testing of our biomass generator. May has been a very busy month and we have made headway with putting together the system. However, we haven’t met all the milestones we set for the month. In short, we are one month delayed compared to the plan we set out earlier this year and we have adjusted the schedule accordingly. In any case, I leave the details for the update below.

 

Update #2, May 2017

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

As mentioned, we are about one month behind schedule. The delay is due partly to parts being late coming in, partly because of scheduling conflicts for our lead engineer. That said, considerable progress has been made during the last month. The engine has been re-assembled with new parts, a redesigned base plate for the engine/alternator assembly has been installed and everything hooked up to the boiler. The engine has been tested without load and runs fine (see short video below).

Apart from the challenges with the heat exchanger (see below) what is pending is to install and connect the alternator to the engine. We are also waiting to take delivery of the computer interface and transducers needed to monitor the system while running the tests (ETA is mid-June).

Boiler and engine integration progressing (Click for large version)
Engine installed on the new base plate which will also house the alternator (Click for larger version)

Challenges:

The boiler is in its current configuration not generating steam with the required parameters. The engine requires 1000 psi at 550 Centigrade while we only have achieved 50-60% of that. The root problem lies with the heat exchanger in the boiler which restricts the chimney draft. Currently we are considering two options: 1. Revise the design of the heat exchanger to make it less restrictive; and 2.  Forced flow in the chimney. We have decided to try with option 2 first and are in the process of getting the solution built.

Video:

The video shows a short run of the engine, without the alternator attached. The analogue gauge to the left shows the pressure into the engine (out of the heat exchanger) while that on the right is pressure after the engine (pressure in psi). The digital readout on the right shows steam temperature into the engine (top) and exhaust (bottom). Both are in centigrade. As you can see, the values for both pressure and temperature are way below our targets (1000psi and 550 Centigrade (1000 Fahrenheit)).

 


Schedule for the next three months

May and first part of June: Finalizing the integration of the system and initial testing.

June and July: endurance testing. The system will be run 24/7 and the goal is to get at least 500 hours of operation without incidents on it. The system will be shut down and the engine inspected for wear and tear regularly: every 10 hours at the start and, at progressively longer periods, thereafter.

August: end of endurance testing

If and when testing is successful, IBES will start preparations for manufacturing of production units. If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

IBES Newsletter, Biomass Generator Update

By on 28/04/2017

Establishment of regular status updates for IBES FZ-LLC activities and status of operation.

This is the very first in a regular series of status updates, in the form of a short newsletter, from the team here at IBES. Up until now the information we have shared with you has been far between and at irregular intervals. Since we are now at a stage in our development where things are happening relatively fast we have instituted a regular status update of the activities undertaken by the IBES team in Dubai and Denmark. You will receive these updates the last Thursday every month. Here we endeavor to share with you the activities we have undertaken during the last month, inform you about milestones and, hopefully not often, about issues we have encountered.

Update #1, April 2017

 

Manufacturing of boilers in China

IBES FZ-LLC is in final stages of signing a manufacturing agreement, for boilers, with a Chinese partner. The agreement will allow for a flexible and phased ramp-up of manufacturing numbers. The manufacturer currently has a capacity of 2000 40kW boilers per year but can expand to meet virtually any demand.

 

Negotiation with potential distributors in Canada and USA.

IBES FZ-LLC has started negotiations with an entity seeking distributorship for Canada and potentially the USA.

 

Prototype unit being readied for endurance testing in Dubai

The first prototype IBES unit was operational for the first time in Q3 of 2016. After that it was shipped to Dubai for further testing and commercialization. The unit consisted of a 30kW boiler with the newly designed steam generator coil (heat exchanger(HX)) and a Cyclone Mark 3 engine. The goal for this test was to prove the concept which it did.

After being received in Dubai the system was disassembled and checked. While the boiler and HX has been reassembled, and tested, the engine, being a prototype, needed some attention. Together with Cyclone, IBES’s chief engineer have addressed a couple of design challenges that were spotted during the testing in Denmark and teardown in Dubai. Dealing with these challenges have taken more time that anticipated but the engine is now ready to be put back together and for testing to start.

Schedule for the next two months

  1. First part of May: IBES chief engineer to reassemble the prototype Mark 3, integrate it with the boiler/HX and prepare it for endurance testing. Testing will be done with load and a 10kW alternator has been purchased and will be integrated.
  2. May and June: endurance testing. The system will be run 24/7 and the goal is to get at least 500 hours of operation without incidents on it. The system will be shut down and the engine inspected for wear and tear regularly: every 10 hours at the start and, at progressively longer periods, thereafter.
  3. July: end of endurance testing

If testing is successful, IBES will start preparations for manufacturing of production units. If you would like additional information, we can be contacted via email or phone (see Contact page)

Integration of Cyclone Mark 3 with IBES’ furnace in final stages

By on 14/10/2016

When IBES FZ-LLC was created it brought together two leaders in their industries and a group of individuals with generations worth of expertise and experience from commercial, public and humanitarian sectors. The vision of the IBES team is to be a key player providing clean and renewable energy to the world, also the 1.2 billion currently without access to electricity.
With the latest development this vision is another step closer.

The Cyclone Mark 3 steam engine has now successfully been integrated with our furnace/boiler and the unit has already clocked up a good number of running hours. The video shows the system running with 1,000 psi pressure from the second iteration of our heat-exchanger (HX).

 

With 5 more, production version, engines on order with Cyclone the next step is to hook up the alternator and test. Thereafter we will be doing the design to physically integrate the engine and alternator with the furnace unit, ending up with a compact, light and attractive looking product.
Having the prototype operational and the concept proven, we are gaining momentum towards having the production version ready and are on track to start shipping in mid-December 2016.

Thanks for watching. There are more exciting news to come in the next few weeks, so stop by again.

The IBES Team

 

P.S. Just as we are to publish this article, versions 3 of the HX is operational supplying the engine with steam at 1,250 psi.

IBES orders innovative steam engines from Cyclone Power Technologies

By on 12/10/2016

Following a visit to Cyclone Power Technologies facilities in Pompano Beach, Florida in September, IBES FZ-LLC has placed an order for 5 Mark3 Cyclone steam engines. The engines will be delivered to our workshop in Dubai and will be used for further testing and for the first batch of production units.

In a press release from Cyclone, Frank Cawkwell, CEO of IBES commented “The 2015 Paris Climate Conference made global leaders committed to a cleaner, greener, and more energy efficient world. The need is to bring electrical power, warmth, clean water, and refrigeration to the more than 2B people still remaining without; this poses a tremendous challenge for the world. Combining Cyclone’s revolutionary Rankin cycle engine and 3R’s unique wood fueled furnace, IBES has a product that will be a critical component in meeting that challenge. IBES offers a low cost, highly efficient solution that generates electricity to power, for example, lighting and mobile device chargers. It also provides heat energy to operate water purification and refrigeration systems, thus offering access to 21st century standards of living to those who have missed out. We are both passionate about our products and the impact they can affect globally. The creation of IBES and its partnership with Cyclone has brought together two innovative leaders in their industries and a combined 35 years of experience with clean and renewable energy solutions.”

You can read the full Cyclone Press release by following this link.

While at Cyclone the team also got demonstrations of other renewable power solutions, such as the solar trough powered Thermal Storage Unit and the start of the development of the 300hp Mark 7 engine, the raw block.

 

ibes-looking-at-solar-engine
The solar engine being demoed by its inventor Harry Schoell.
ibes-with-the-mark-7-next-project-1
The IBES team looking at the raw block for the Mark 7, our next project.
ibes-looking-at-cyclone-solar-trough
Another exciting solution: thermal storage units heated with solar troughs.