Frequently Asked Questions


Operational

1. How does the Phoenix CHP Generator work?

The Phoenix CHP Generator is a state-of-the-art generator system that is capable of utilizing waste flammable/combustible gases or liquids (used motor/equipment oil, methane, natural gas, alcohols, ethers, etc...) to produce electricity for operational needs or for transfer to the power grid. Utilizing a revolutionary patented Phoenix Steam Generator (PSG) and a steam-powered external combustion engine, the Phoenix CHP Generator system is designed to produce from 10 to 13kW of electrical power.

The Phoenix CHP Generator operation is straightforward. In the case of used oil or waste liquids, the fuel is pumped from a storage tank through filters to the PSG where it is ignited (Note: If fueled by Natural Gas or other waste gases, the fuel is piped directly to the PSG). Steel tubes containing the working fluid are coiled in the chamber. This fluid is turned to steam and forced into the an engine. This, in turn, produces mechanical energy by turning a shaft leading to the electric motor. The rotation in the electric motor produces the electricity. Once the steam is exhausted from the engine, it travels through the heat exchange system, cooling and condensing the steam back into a liquid and then back into the PSG to repeat the process. The Phoenix genset is a completely enclosed system.

2. What kind of fuel does it burn?

“On-Specification” used or waste oil from your car, truck or industrial operations.  In addition, other liquid and gaseous fuels such as methane, natural gas, waste alcohols and ethers can be converted to usable heat and power.

3. What is On-Specification oil?

The US-EPA defines On-Specification oil (40 CFR 279.11) as oil that is intended to be burned for energy recovery and has been tested for heavy metals (cadmium, chromium, lead, arsenic), flash point (must be > 100 degrees F.), and total halogens (must be < 4,000 ppm).

4. Can Off-Specification oil be used in the Phoenix genset?

The Phoenix CHP Generator is designed to be fueled with On-Specification oil (as defined by 40 CFR 279.11). The burning of Off-Specification oil is not recommended and could void the warranty. Any user burning Off-Specification oil accepts all liability and Federal, State and local environmental and permitting requirements.

5. How much fuel does the phoenix genset burn?

Using waste oil and at full power output, approximately 3 gals/hr. That is around 36 gals/12-hour day. If used 6 days a week, that equates to 216 gals/wk or 864 gals/mo.  If other gas or liquid fuels are used, the consumption rate will vary.  

6. Has it been successfully run?

Yes. The PSG and external combustion engine has hundreds of hours of run time, while the other components are proven off-the-shelf products. Further endurance and durability testing is being performed in connection with our pilot program.

7. Where can it be installed?

Our initial models will be required to be installed indoors such as a store room, mechanical room or shop floor. Outdoor rated units capable of withstanding freezing temperatures will follow as an optional package.

8. How much space will the unit require in my facility?

The footprint is 56”L x 36”W and is approximately 8' in height.

9. How much does it weigh?

Approximately 1,300 pounds.

10. Does it have to be exhausted to the outside?

Yes. Our installer will run an 8”-diameter exhaust stack through the facility roof or wall.

11. Will it be able to provide heat as well as electricity?

Yes. The Phoenix CHP Generator may be eligible for energy credits (depending on your location) by producing over 200,000 BTU of usable heat.

12. Is it UL rated?

All the components are UL rated except for the PSG and external combustion engine. However, total-system UL approval (or similar) will be obtained as soon as appropriate.

13. What is your warranty program?

All major components will be warranted by their manufacturer for one year or greater. Phoenix will determine and announce a warranty program for the total system upon conclusion of the pilot program.

14. Will it require compressed air?

Yes, if fueled by waste liquids. Initial models will connect to the facility air compressor to run the fuel pump. Later models will incorporate a self-contained compressor (approximately 15 psi) for locations that do not have an existing compressor. However, compressed air will not be needed if fueled by compressed gases.

15. What are the emissions?

The Phoenix CHP Generator derives its power from a revolutionary PSG and an external combustion engine. Due to the long and low temperature fuel burn, this system is inherently cleaner than traditional gasoline or diesel-powered internal combustion engines. In the case of used motor oil, Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions are insignificant. Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) is virtually nonexistent due to the low combustion temperature (i.e., < 2,200 degrees F.). In addition, there is virtually no “burned oil” odor from the unit, as opposed to some common commercially-available oil burning/heating units. Preliminary third-party lab tests have shown that the emissions are much lower than diesel engines and these results are without the use of emission filters or other add-on devices. A more broad-spectrum emission study will be conducted as part of the pilot program.  However, if waste alcohols are used, the resulting emissions are simply carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor.  

16. Can anyone install it?

No. Only qualified and trained technicians are licensed to install the genset. In addition, a licensed electrician will have to make the electrical connections.

Electrical

1. What are the electrical generation characteristics of the Phoenix genset?

Three-phase, 1,000 Hz (after rectification), 500 Volts

General Questions

1. Do you plan to use manufacturer representatives?

Not at this time. We will go through a distributor network.

2. Do you plan to sell it outside the United States?

Yes. Phoenix has received significant interest from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, the Caribbean and numerous individual countries. Appropriate distributors will be brought on board in those locations as soon as appropriate.

3. When will it be available to the public? How can I be kept up to date on the progress and availability?

All components of the Phoenix CHP Generator have been developed and are be assembled to begin full-system durability and dependability testing. A limited pilot program with select customers will be initiated upon completion of this testing. The current timeline is for production to begin immediately thereafter and product availability set for late-2017. If you would like to be kept up to date on any further developments and press releases, simply click on "Contact Us" and provide us with your information.

4. How much will a Phoenix genset cost?

The exact cost will be determined and announced once testing reaches completion and production costs are determined.

5. How long is the payback period?

This will vary depending on the location and utility electrical rates. However, Phoenix projects it to be approximately 36 months, in most instances.

6. How does your 36-month payback time frame compare to other alternative energy sources such as wind and solar?

Even though technology advances are being made every day in these energy areas, wind and solar business models still struggle. The payback periods in these areas are in the 8 to 15 year range. In addition, they require a tremendous amount of operating space and are restricted to when the wind blows or the sun shines.

7. Are there any permits involved?

This is determined based on your local codes; however, the utility company will most likely have to approve the installation and associated grid-tie connections. In addition, local fire marshals may have to approve the combustion system, exhaust system and oil storage components upon installation. Some states and local municipalities may have a degree of permitting and notification requirements, but these are expected to be minimal (or nonexistent) with the burning of On-Specification oil. Your local distributors will handle all permit requirements.

8. What if I produce a large quantity of waste Products and want to produce more electricity?

Multiple CHP Generators can be "daisy-chained" to increase electrical production. The number of gensets is a function of the available fuel. However, certain additional air-permitting requirements may apply in some areas.

9. Will you provide financing?

Yes. Various financing options will be available. Positive cash flow can be achieved within 12 months.