Green Generator Challenge
Green gensets: For the next decades we will continue to need carbon-based fuels to generate on-site or portable electricity on demand. The intent of this prize is to spur production of cleaner generators that could replace current models in a typical variety of uses: power tools, welder, emergency power, auxiliary power, vehicles.
Even if we get carbon-neutral liquid fuels, we still need to burn them more cleanly. Large stationary generators are already in development to meet these needs, but the small generator market is not providing greener replacements to their very dirty and inefficient units. The automobile industry makes far cleaner and more fuel-efficient engines than the small-engine industry, and that technology could be used in small generators.
In addition, other forms of combustion such as turbines, rotary, and external combustion might be better than our current four-stroke piston designs. A future market for green gensets also exists with battery-electric vehicles. Until battery technology improves, range extenders such as a genset trailer or built-in genset as a hybrid will be needed to get sufficient range.