The 'Frig-Enerator-Water Supply': A Working US Army Sponsored Prototype


Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends has in-depth coverage of two "Engineers at the University of Florida [who] have developed and built a system that can provide power, water and refrigeration from a single unit. This project, funded by the U.S. Army, will lead to units small enough to fit inside a military jet or a large truck. The prototype system is already more efficient than conventional turbines. And it is also environmentally friendly because it can use traditional fossil fuels as well as biomass-produced fuels or hydrogen and releases only small amounts of pollutants. This kind of system could be used as a mobile unit in case of hurricanes or wars. But it might also be connected to the normal power grid in fixed locations". See the Gainsville Times article for some local Florida coverage of the story.This is how distributed power was meant to be. When the owner is consuming less than full output of the generator, but the refrigeration portion is still "on demand," surplus electricity is sold to the grid operator. Conversely, when the owner needs more electricity than the generator can provide, either the grid or a solar panel makes up the difference. Total fuel efficiency is very high (remember there is no transmission line loss), as is owner autonomy. We assume that potable water production is contingent upon running this guy with pure H2.