AMGC backs Aussie manufacturers creating electricity from air

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has co-funded two Australian manufacturers to assist with the development of technology to generate power from air. Capricorn Power and Cool Mine have been awarded co-funding to advance their ground-breaking heat-to-electricity generator and thermoelectric generator (TEG) technology, respectively.

Both projects take an existing resource, compressed air, hot air or gas, and convert it into usable electricity. Capricorn Power use waste exhaust or biogas and convert it into electricity via a patent-pending Barton engine system. This power can then feed energy back into the local grid providing power for local industry or up to 120 homes.

Cool Mine’s AIR2VOLTS system leverages TEG technology, whereby temperate differences produce a ‘Seebeck’ effect to generate electricity between two conductors. This technology has been used to power deep space probes and is ideally suited for use in underground mines where access to reticulated electrical power can be both difficult and dangerous, however, access to compressed air is not.

Managing director of AMGC, Jens Goennemann, said that both technologies demonstrate the critical role manufacturing plays across the entire value chain, from design to research and development, and then onto sales, service, and support.

“Capricorn Power and Cool Mine are stunning examples of the manufacturing multiplier effect, with jobs generated across the entire manufacturing value chain. Both technologies benefit from highly skilled design and engineering staff, and now, as the businesses move to the production, sales, and service phase, more jobs will follow,” said Goennemann.

“Both technologies take an available resource, air, to generate emission-free power that in the case of Capricorn Power can be fed back into the grid or, in the case of Coolmine, power communications and monitoring equipment in underground mines in a safe and emission-free manner.”