Linear Generators Fill Key Commercial and Utility Resource Gaps

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Companies are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by integrating renewables into their distributed energy mix, which is driving the fuel-based distributed generation market to provide more flexible and dispatchable solutions. A new white paper from Mainspring Energy explores how linear generators can provide those flexible solutions for microgrids, utilities and commercial and industrial organizations.

Linear Generators

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According to the paper, a linear generator is “an electromechanical device that directly converts motion along a straight line into electricity using chemical or thermal energy.” This new category of clean, distributed power generation provides on-site, fuel-flexible power that can be dispatched on demand. Linear generators also deliver lower costs and reduced carbon emissions compared to other alternatives, including traditional power sources.

“The emergence of linear generators capable of firming up renewables and serving as a gateway to more sustainable DER aggregations is a game changer.” — Mainspring Energy, “Introducing Linear Generators to the Rapidly Evolving DER Landscape

In the paper, Mainspring Energy compares the linear generator to traditional fuel-based generation options including engines and gensets, microturbines and fuel cells. The authors also present use cases for three key market segments: behind-the-meter (BTM) commercial and industrial customers, front-of-the-meter utility substation and wider grid support, and microgrids. They note that “BTM microgrids incorporating linear generators increase their flexibility and ability to operate parallel to the distribution grid while safely disconnecting and operating in island mode with an aggregated portfolio of DER assets.”

After laying out the value proposition for each of the three key markets, the paper explores the global serviceable addressable market of linear generators, which they estimate to be $38 billion annually. They predict that linear generators will have a “major impact on global energy markets” and “a vital complementary role in the net zero grid of the future.”

Download the full report, “Introducing Linear Generators to the Rapidly Evolving DER Landscape” from Mainspring Energy.

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