No electricity bill for 40 years claim for power unit
A DEVICE that, it is claimed, is capable of powering a three-bedroom house for up to 40 years could be manufactured in Guernsey.
‘Long term, this could be as big as Microsoft or Apple,’ said Len Tostevin, commercial director of Professional Robotics.
The device has been patented as a molten salt thorium battery, although Mr Tostevin said that was something of a misnomer: ‘A battery stores energy. This doesn’t – it produces energy.’
The patent was registered by Alan Audley, who is the Portsmouth-based company’s research and development director, with his brother Sean the software engineer.
If installed, it would not require any of the infrastructure used by the electricity grid, and could be ideal for someone whose home is in a remote location, said Mr Tostevin.
As well as providing a source of power for homes or even a block of flats, Mr Tostevin said the device could be adapted to fit in an electric car, cutting down carbon emissions and removing the need for the driver to stop and recharge frequently.
A prototype MSTB providing 40KW of electricity has been on test in the UK for more than a year and the company said it powered a three-bedroom house for three months continuously before being tested outdoors on lights and a hot tub and then in another house over the Christmas period.
It completed its year of testing by being connected to other appliances for 24 hours a day.
Mr Tostevin said the company could see electrical firms having some issues with this technology.
‘One of the problems with it is that there are some interested industries which would not be too happy about it,’ he said. ‘Possibly you wouldn’t need so many solar energy farms or wind farms.’
The company is talking to a UK developer about the possibility of putting a unit into its properties.
‘Used in a normal three-bedroom house, you wouldn’t get an electricity bill for 40 years,’ said Mr Tostevin.
How much a unit would cost has not been determined, but it might end up being something that could be used by an electricity provider to get power to a remote location, feeding it through a meter as it would do with power from the grid.
Professional Robotics is hoping to find backers. ‘What we want to do is find some source of proper finance to enable us to set up a manufacturing plant,’ he said, adding that Guernsey’s promotion of green finance made the island seem like a good place to start.
. Anyone interested in finding out more should call Mr Tostevin on 07911 748439.
What is thorium?
Named after the Norse god of thunder, thorium is a silvery, lustrous and radioactive element with potential as an alternative to uranium in fuelling nuclear reactors.
According to an article from the Royal Society of Chemistry, thorium used in reactors provides many benefits over using uranium:
Thorium is three to four times more abundant than uranium, but is not as radioactive.
Thorium is more easily extracted than uranium.
Liquid fluoride thorium reactors have very little waste compared with reactors powered by uranium.
LFTRs run at atmospheric pressure instead of the 150 to 160 times atmospheric pressure currently needed.