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Science and Technology


Natural gas-to-electricity device uses NASA Glenn technology
TAPS, developed by a California company, is more than 90 percent efficient, and uses NASA Glenn's Stirling propulsion system
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN


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Vivian Goodman
 
In The Region:
A new device that converts natural gas into electricity has, at its core, technology developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. WKSU's Vivian Goodman reports.
Natural gas-to-electricity device uses NASA Glenn technology

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The Thermo Acoustic Power Stick -- or TAPS -- is being tested now by California-based Nirvana Energy Systems. The company calls it a mini-power-grid for home use.
To make it work, Nirvana licensed NASA Glenn's Stirling propulsion technology, which was developed for space flights. The system uses acoustic waves instead of mechanical parts to generate electricity from any heat source.
Nirvana says TAPS is retro-fittable to any home, and produces up to 4 kilowatts of power. The company plans to continue testing and certification throughout 2014 before releasing the system for residential use.
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