At the end of May, we will introduce CraftEngine to the world. It will happen at the World Bioenergy 2012 in Jönköping, Sweden - the world's biggest bio-energy conference with 120 exhibitors from 20 countries and thousands of visitors from all over the world.
It's the first time we're participating at World Bioenergy and the debut promises to be impressive, with both exhibitions and presentations. We will have our own stand where we will show a new movie about the CraftEngine, the world's first and only option for small-scale energy production fueled by biomass.
”The CraftEngine has triggered so much interest that the conference organizer has invited us to give a half-hour presentation to the delegates,” says Tor Hodne, managing director at the Viking Development Group. ”We hope the speech will inspire and create great expectations. «CraftEngine: Micro-Scale Electricity Production from Biomass - at a low cost» is the title of Harald Nes Rislå's presentation. He is the linchpin behind the development of the CraftEngine and will talk about the latest developments of this promising product to interested conference delegates at (time) on Wednesday May 30. The purpose of our participation is primarily to attract investors.”
One home, one power plant. Once it was a goal and a vision. Now the mini power plant, the CraftEngine, is about to become reality thanks to the hard work of our small innovation firm in Kristiansand, Norway, together with heavy industrial cooperation partners and industry experts. The CraftEngine represents something completely new since it's small enough to fit in people's homes and since it produces both electricity and heating or cooling from renewable energy sources such as biomass, wood pellets, wood chips, solar or waste heat for about half the current market price.
”At the conference, we want to present a complete, full-scale version of the CraftEngine so that experts and visitors can get a closer look at the machine,” says Hodne.
Every year, experts from all over the world attend the World Bioenergy, which this year will be held from May 29 to 31 in Sweden - a pioneer country which uses bio-energy for 32 percent of its energy need. One example of the conference's high standing is the fact that 86 diplomats from 45 countries recently took part in a pre-presentation of the conference in Jönköping.
Göteborg Energi, Vattenfall and Sveaskog are among the conference’s many major sponsors. The Swedish Energy Agency and World Bioenergy Association are partners and Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav is the patron of the event. Both the Swedish and Indian energy ministers will make presentations at the conference. In addition to Viking Development Group, the National Institute of Technology (Teknologisk Institutt) will also participate from Norway.
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CraftEngine impresses at the bio-conference in Tromsø, Norway
At the bio-energy conference in Tromsø in March, Tor Hodne and Harald Nes Rislå presented the CraftEngine - the environmentally friendly heat and electricity engine that Viking Development Group has such high hopes for.
The presentation triggered a lot of interest and enthusiasm from an auditorium packed with bio-energy experts. One of those present was Cato Kjølstad, head of the Norwegian Bio-Energy Association (Norsk Bioenergiforening), which hosted the event.
”It was incredibly exciting to hear about the experiences, views and visions of the Viking Development Group,” Kjølstad says. ”If they manage to produce the power station at an affordable, competitive price, I think they will be able to inroduce the CraftEngine on the market. Initially, I think it would be wise to focus on farms. They are of the right size and most farms need both heat and electricity.”
CraftEngine can provide heat and electricity for a residential estate
– What about for example the professional market, offices and apartments?
”I absolutely think they also are potential markets, but it will probably depend on, for example, the CraftEngine’s capacity and the company's marketing strategy. I don't exclude anything since the people behind the CraftEngine are solid representatives of innovation and new-thinking. There are a lot of energy sources on the market, but the CraftEngine is the only that combines heat, cold and electricity and that can run on several different energy sources.”
– Where do you see the CraftEngine in three years?
”If the Viking Development Group keeps up the pace and innovative spirit, I think the power station will become a commercial success. I don't dare to predict how successful, but it's an exciting innovation that I absolutely believe has a future.”
CraftEngine combined with a chip dryer gives improved economy
– Any good advice?
”I strongly urge you to carry out a few pilot projects. Operating in a real environment always provides useful insight that often spots the need for possible adjustments and necessary changes.”
It's getting serious!
Our CraftEngine invention - a machine for small-scale energy production based on biomass and solar - will soon be launched commercially thanks to German engineering company AVL Schrick. They have just finished building the second prototype, Prototype B, which is about to undergo stringent tests at AVL in Sweden.
The first version, Prototype A, was made in Denmark and tested at the Institute for Product Development at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen until the summer of 2011. The results were very encouraging.
Tor Hodne, Managing Director of Viking Development Group, says: ”We wanted to take CraftEngine to the next level and turned to AVL, the world's largest and most advanced privately-owned motor design company. AVL develops engines for Mercedes, Ford, Audi and Bugatti. It also tests and develops engines for Formula 1 cars, lawn mowers, chain saws and planes and has now also created a new and improved version of the CraftEngine. We couldn't be in better technical hands.”
AVL Schrick are experts at designing and constructing engines and an integral part of the global AVL group with 5,100 employees and annual sales of NOK 5.8 billion last year.
Theodoor van der Hoeven, Chief Engineer at ALV Schrick, says: ”The CraftEngine looks very promising, although we've had to overcome some very tough challenges in a record-breaking five months. Similar projects normally take at least ten months. We have an excellent working relationship with Viking Development Group, characterized by openness and trust. We have worked as equal partners with a common goal."
- What do you think about the CraftEngine's potential as an electricity and heat engine?
”It works as intended and holds a very high standard. We still have some open-ended questions which I'm sure the tests in Sweden will answer. We are definitely on the right track, but we still need to do some more thinking before everything falls into place.”
- Do you have trouble sleeping at night now that the tests are about to begin?
”No, I sleep very well. We specialize in design of internal combustion engines, and the CraftEngine design is based on that. The CraftEngine has great potential, and once we've made some more progress, I'm confident the CraftEngine will be able to fulfill the dreams and ambitions of the creative and ambitious staff at Viking Development Group.”
The CraftEngine Prototype B is now on its way to AVL’s large engine test center in Haninge outside of Stockholm. There, our little dynamo will undergo lengthy and detailed tests, just like the 1,500 engines AVL has developed since its establishment in 1948.
Andreas Dahl, project manager for the CraftEngine testing at ALV in Sweden, says: ”We will carry out intensive tests of all of the machine’s functions and optimize its performance for maximum efficiency. The goal is 10 percent efficiency and if we achieve that, Viking Development Group has taken a major step in the right direction. The higher the efficiency, the greater the opportunities will be on the commercial market. The timing will be the biggest challenge during the tests, i.e. to get all the details in place in the right order at the right time. We are focusing a lot on planning and implementation, and we are impressed by CraftEngine's inventor Harald Nes Rislå. He is an enthusiastic and very competent person.”
Testing will start in May and continue through June. After the summer holidays, we will consider the need for further tests.
When the World Bioenergy 2012 - the world's largest bio-energy exhibition - takes place in Jönköping in May, we will exhibit Prototype B at our stand, so that the thousands of visitors can see the small power plant that may be commercially available within just a few years.
”When we have done all the tests, and, if they're successful, we will kick off a series of pilot projects next year,” Hodne says. ”The projects will be carried out in various locations throughout the world to acquire the broadest possible practical operational experience from places with different climatic conditions. In addition to electricity production, the CraftEngine can deliver both heating and cooling, and we would like to try both in real-life settings, not only in advanced laboratories in Sweden.”
A power plant for every home (one home, one power plant). That was once our vision and ambition. Now two prototypes have been produced of the CraftEngine, which has been patented by the Viking Development Group in Kristiansand, Norway. The CraftEngine is the only small-scale machine (1-10 kW (kilowatt) electric power) in the world that can produce water-based heat or cooling and also electricity from renewable energy sources such as biomass, wood pellets, wood chips, solar or waste heat, at about half the current market price. That means many of our potential customers can recoup an estimated initial investment of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros within a few years from installing their CraftEngine.
Proud engineering team behind Prototype B!
From left to right; Daniela Riethmüller, Christian Schlüter, Christoph Kube, Sascha Bruns, Xabier Alcelay Ugarte, Sergej Martinjuk and project manager Theodoor Van Der Hoeven.
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