Powering the Grid Transition with Linear Generators

Linear generators can quickly switch between various types of green and non-green fuels, including biogas, ammonia, and hydrogen. This technology has the potential to create a decarbonized power system that is available, reliable, and resilient against weather changes and fuel supply issues. Developed, tested, and commercially deployed, this is no longer a fantasy.

The co-founders of Mainspring Energy spent 14 years developing this technology, and in 2020, they began rolling it out commercially. Currently, the technology is installed at numerous sites, producing 230 to 460 kilowatts at each location. This webinar was hosted by key partners in the energy industry (Centurion Technologies, Enerlogics Network INC., and the Mainspring Energy team) and showcased some locations that have already adopted the technology. Webinar presenter Shalaw Mohammed, who is a Sales Staff Engineer for Mainspring Energy, showcased what it takes for more organizations to begin adopting.

The principle behind the technology is the release of energy by compressing a mixture of air and fuel. For example, a real-world application of this system pairs the generators with a 3.3-megawatt rooftop solar array. When the sun shines, the generators turn off, and when the sun goes down or behind a cloud, the generators automatically turn on within seconds, providing precisely the needed power for the building.

The ability to provide the necessary compression precisely when needed also enables efficient operation with fuels having widely different properties. For instance, hydrogen reacts with little compression, while ammonia requires a lot. The linear generator is fuel-agnostic and can run on a wide range of fuels, including natural gas, biogas, hydrogen, ammonia, syngas, and even alcohols without compromising performance.

The linear generator is envisioned as the cornerstone of a zero-carbon grid due to its unique flexibility. It can handle nearly any scale of power, from single units to grid-connected arrays, is easily permitted and installed wherever power is needed, and operates on almost any fuel.

You can watch the webinar presentation here.

You can find a copy of the presentation here.

Learn more about linear generators here.