Thomas Steiner, Ph.D.
As the global population and quality of life simultaneously increase, higher efficiency power generation technology is required to lower global emissions. Under Thomas’s technical direction, Etalim created a thermoacoustic genset (TAC) that can combust natural gas or hydrogen, is exceptionally reliable, and doesn’t require maintenance. These characteristics make it highly suitable for use in isolated or developing communities, allowing them to participate in a low carbon economy. The TAC is ideal for use at natural gas wellheads to displace methane venting by pneumatic controls where each 1 kW unit would reduce CO2e emissions by 585 tonnes per year. Previous versions of gensets lose 66% of energy to heat, but Dr. Steiner’s innovative vision has resulted in an overall 90% efficiency when used in a combined heat and power application and a fuel-to-electric efficiency of 29%. This is an outstanding improvement in small engine efficiency that enables a transition to hydrogen.