Entrepreneurial company Stirling DK, which has developed the world’s first CO2 neutral CHP plant based on a biomass-fired Stirling engine, has raised a DKK 83.2m (USD 15.7m) investment from new and existing investors – the fifth largest cleantech investment in Europe this year. The news is reported by daily business newspaper Erhvervsbladet.
The money will be used to roll out Stirling DK's business internationally, build up production of engines and make the company the world's leading supplier of biomass-fired Stirling Engines.
Lars Jagd, the director of Stirling DK says: "The fact that we have managed to raise such a lot of money in the current market shows that we have a strong technology, a good organisation and major growth potential which we now have all the preconditions to realise."
The Stirling engine itself is not a new idea - it was invented almost 200 years ago by a Scottish clergyman. But it has certain characteristics that are well suited to today's increasingly energy-conscious world. For one thing, it is highly efficient - in fact the most efficient of all heat engines. And for another, it can theoretically run on any source of heat energy – biomass for instance – since the fuel is combusted outside the engine cylinders rather than inside them.
To make biomass a feasible fuel in practice however requires a number of engineering adaptations and additions, and that is what Stirling DK has achieved. The company's Stirling engine technology is well suited for local CHP (combined heat and power) plants generating an output from 10-500 kWe. The heat is typically used for district heating, but can also be used for freshwater generation, cooling, or process heating.
Stirling DK was established in 2004 by Professor Henrik Carlsen, who has headed research in Stirling engines at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) for 15 years.