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Clean-burning Genset Passes Phase One Trial

July 25, 2023 by Claire Turvill

In a marked first for the company, ClearFlame Engine Technologies successfully demoed a clean-burning genset powered by their patented FuelAdaptive engine technologies.

Innovation company ClearFlame Engine Technologies achieved a significant milestone as their FuelAdaptive engine technologies were employed in a power generator demo unit genset. This successful advancement through the phase one trial was conducted in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Duke Energy. One of the notable achievements during the trials was the genset's successful completion of a 24-hour continuous power test.
 

clean burning genset

ClearFlame is adapting traditional diesel-style compression engines to run on renewable and low-carbon fuel alternatives. Image used courtesy of ClearFlame

 

Removing Diesel From Diesel Engines

Founded in 2016, ClearFlame is adapting traditional diesel-style compression engines to run on a diverse array of renewable and low-carbon fuel alternatives to support the triple bottom line. Their technology has been designed to seamlessly build into new and existing engine production processes for an efficient and cost-effective route to decarbonization.

The innovation is rooted in high-temperature mixing controlled compression ignition (MCCI). 

ClearFlame can create an environment where any low-soot fuel exhibits characteristics similar to diesel fuel, including a short ignition delay and a typical combustion process. This remarkable ability opens up possibilities for using readily available, simple, and renewable fuels such as ethanol and methanol. These fuels are produced on a large scale, accessible worldwide, and provide significant advantages over conventional fossil fuels, including reduced emissions and lower costs.

 

FuelAdaptive Generator Set

A genset, short for generator set, is a compact and portable device with an engine and an alternator or electric generator designed to supply energy. Gensets have extensive applications in developing regions and areas without access to the power grid, being particularly useful in locations prone to frequent power outages or where an outage can lead to critical or hazardous situations.

ClearFlame's FuelAdaptive engine technology enables the genset unit to operate using clean and abundantly accessible ethanol, resulting in carbon reduction, cost savings, and the creation of a sustainable mobile power solution. The ongoing development efforts aim to ensure compatibility with diverse weather and terrain conditions, making this product highly versatile.

The successful completion of phase one trials by ClearFlame’s genset is a first-of-its-kind demonstration for the company. It is also a milestone in renewable power generation

A clean-burning genset offers the power generation market a new viable product for reliable, clean power to support electric grids, especially during blackouts, high-demand peak power periods, or rapid recharge. 
 

A clean-burning genset offers the power generation market a new viable product for reliable, clean power to support electric grids, especially during blackouts, high-demand peak power periods, or rapid recharge. 


Integrating clean generators powered by renewable resources promotes using sustainable and non-depleting energy sources in areas that may not have access to the grid or experience frequent outages. This transition helps diversify the energy mix and reduces reliance on fossil fuels, supporting improving human and environmental health at a low cost.

The tests at the Battery Innovation Center in Newberry, Ind., encompassed various cycles along with the 24-hour continuous test. The overall feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, paving the way for the eagerly anticipated second pilot phase. 

In the next phase, ClearFlame's engine will power a real customer utilizing a renewable, low-carbon fuel, intensifying the focus on its capabilities.

Phase two testing will be completed in partnership with ComEd. 

 

ClearFlame Genset Funding

In March, ClearFlame raised $30 million in Series B funding to continue the development of their engine technologies. Previously, ClearFlame raised $17 million in Series A funding in 2021 and $3 million in the initial Series Seed funding in 2020. The over $50 million in financing has been led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Mercuria, with support from John Deere and Clean Energy Ventures.