A Volkswagen In Every Basement? What are you offloading

This was an eye catching headline and hundreds of bloggers posted it. But what are they really accomplishing here. If the people have electric water heaters maybe they are accomplishing something. If the people have gas water heaters then the impact is much less. You have off loaded an inefficient gas heater for an efficient one. But if you installed a solar water heater well…then you would be doing something. This is just a publicity stunt…AND apparently it worked:

http://www.afp.com/afpcom/en/

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/284909,volkswagen-plan-would-rev-up-power-for-apartments.html

Volkswagen plan would rev up power for apartments

by Aurelia End Aurelia End Wed Sep 9, 11:06 am ET

Salzgitter,Germany – Automotive giant Volkswagen and a small German power company unveiled Wednesday a plan to build up to 100,000 mini power stations in apartment house basements. The generators would run off more or less the same natural-gas- powered engines as those that currently drive some

Volkswagen Golf cars. Exhaust heat from the engines would warm up water for showers and central heating.“It’s a true revolution in the electricity business,” said Christian Friege, chief executive of Lichtblick, a small “green energy” supplier to homes and offices which teamed up with
Volkswagen for the project. The plan, sealed with an agreement at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter factory in northern Germany, is a challenge to big utilities that generate power with huge steam turbines driven by nuclear or coal heat. Germany’s infrastructure could help make the plan a reality, with gas, mostly drilled in Siberia, already being piped to most city streets in Germany. Volkswagen said the “green” internal-combustion engines it has developed for cars were quiet enough to operate in building basements and emitted 60 per cent less carbon dioxide than comparable thermal power plants. Lichtblick, based in Hamburg, is a company with 550,000 customers and a focus on supplying non-nuclear electricity. Engineers said the key to the system’s success would be a home power station’s efficiency, with up to 94 per cent of the energy in the gas used for heating or to make electricity, whereas gas-fired power plants only use 40 to 60 per cent..

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This was YAHOO’s take on it:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090909/ts_afp/germanyclimatewarmingtechnologycompanylichtblickvw_20090909151116

Home power plants project unveiled in Germany

 

Home power plants project unveiled in Germany

AFP/DDP – A technician of German automaker Volkswagen’s adjusts a mini gas-fired power plant at the VW plant …

BERLIN (AFP) – An ambitious project was unveiled in Germany on Wednesday to install mini gas-fired power plants in people’s basements and produce as much electricity as two nuclear reactors within a year.

The Hamburg-based renewable energy group Lichtblick and its automaker partner Volkswagen say the plants would produce not only heating and hot water but also electricity, with any excess power fed into the local grid.

The two firms said the concept of “SchwarmStrom” (literally, “swarm power”) would allow Germany to abandon nuclear and coal power stations sooner and help compensate for the volatility of renewables like wind and solar power.

The plants also reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60 percent compared to conventional heat and electricity generation, they added in a joint statement.

In the coming year the programme will install 100,000 of the mini plants, producing between them 2,000 megawatts of electricity, the same as two nuclear plants, Lichtblick and VW said.

“SchwarmStrom is revolutionising power production in Germany. It clears the way for more renewable energy and an exit from power from nuclear and coal,” the statement added.

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These people ran it too:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/09/10/0246238

http://www.thelocal.de/sci-tech/20090909-21821.htmlhttp://www.france24.com/en/20090909-home-power-plants-project-unveiled-germany

http://www.german-info.com/press_shownews.php?pos=Economy&pid=1600

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