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NRG: "Testing" Beacon 10 Gas/Solar-Powered Distributed Gen Tech in Homes, Businesses

October 22, 2013

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Copyright 2010-13
Reporting by Paul Ring •

NRG Energy, according to its website, is now testing a distributed generation technology, relying on solar, natural gas, and battery input, in homes and businesses.

The distributed generation device, called Beacon 10, produces 15 kW maximum electrical output (10 kW maximum from its Stirling engine).

"We're currently testing the Beacon 10 in homes and businesses across the country to ensure its performance for real-world use," NRG states on its website.

"Once market-ready, the in-home or in-business generator gets you grid-free electricity, heat and hot water," NRG says of the "standalone energy source."

"A single unit can integrate natural gas, solar panels, wind turbines and batteries for storage," NRG says. "The device is connected to the grid, which allows the two to work seamlessly together. But if the grid's power goes down, the engine's energy stays up. Any excess generated energy can be sent back to the grid and may be credited for your benefit."

"Once market-ready, easily monitor your near-real-time heat and energy production via your computer, laptop or tablet," NRG says of the device.

Under a preliminary technical specifications sheet, the maximum solar power input is 15 kW, and the maximum battery input is 15 kW. The maximum natural gas input is 50 kW (0.17 MMBTU).

Aside from the 15 kW maximum electrical output, output can be used for space heating (35 kW or 0.12 MMBTU) or hot water (200 gallons per hour at 70° rise). Additional uses include snow melt and spa and pool heating

The technical specifications are subject to change.

When necessary, the unit seamlessly transitions to a backup power system, to maintain continuous operations, NRG says.

The Beacon 10 unit's dimensions are 3 ft. 8 in. long by 2 ft. 6 in. wide by 4 ft.high, which NRG says is slightly larger than a washing machine

The unit weighs 1,500 lbs.

Link to Preliminary Technical Sheet

NRG is working with DEKA Research & Development Corporation, the company founded by Dean Kamen, to develop Beacon 10

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