Electricity from Low-Temperature Waste Heat

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OPEN 2012
College Station, Texas
Project Term:
04/01/2013 - 09/30/2015

Technology Description:

Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) is developing a system to generate electricity from low-temperature waste heat streams. Conventional waste heat recovery technology is proficient at harnessing energy from waste heat streams that are at a much higher temperature than ambient air. However, existing technology has not been developed to address lower temperature differences. The proposed system cycles between heating and cooling a metal hydride to produce a flow of pressurized hydrogen. This hydrogen flow is then used to generate electricity via a turbine generator. TEES's system has the potential to be more efficient than conventional waste heat recovery technologies based on its ability to harness smaller temperature differences than are necessary for conventional waste heat recovery.

Potential Impact:

If successful, TEES's system would transform the low-temperature heat recovery industry, including solar thermal arrays, geo-thermal wells, natural gas compressor stations, and combustion exhaust gas.


Greater use of thermal fuels would reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels, strengthening America's energy security.


Thermal fuel technologies have zero net greenhouse gas emissions and can also reduce fossil fuel consumption, helping curb production of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global climate change.


Finding cost-effective ways to store and use thermal energy could create a profitable thermal fuels industry that spurs economic growth and creates cost savings for consumers.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Bryan Willson
Project Contact:
Dr. Matt Koch
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


ERRA, Inc.
Texas A&M University - San Antonio

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