Smarter Alloys Technology Will Turn Waste Heat Into Electricity

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Multiple Memory Material technology selected from 160 applicants as a top 6 finalist for clean energy prize

Smarter Alloys was recently announced as one of six finalists for Ontario’s Solutions 2030 Challenge. This will help fund a $500,000 effort to apply its proprietary Multiple Memory Material (MMM) technology to generate clean electricity.

Industrial processes like refining oil and making steel generate heat as a byproduct. Rather than letting that energy go to waste, Smarter Alloys aims to build a heat engine that can convert it into green energy. The key is the shape memory effect that some special materials demonstrate when they are heated. By using MMM technology to program these shape memory alloys, Smarter Alloys plans to create efficient heat engines that harvest the low-grade waste heat from industrial processes that is normally dumped into the environment.

“The global threat of climate change is a grand challenge that requires innovative solutions,” says Smarter Alloys CEO Ibraheem Khan. “Our technology has the potential to make real positive impact on reducing carbon emissions with a cost effective solution.”

The project is just one of six to be awarded funding under the Ontario Centres of Excellence Solutions 2030 Challenge — a global competition for solutions to reduce Ontario’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The decision was announced May 7 by Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation.

In the coming months, Smarter Alloys will work with a major Ontario natural gas supplier to identify an appropriate test site that generates waste heat. The company’s engineering team in Waterloo will develop shape memory alloy cores optimized to function at those temperatures. Once they’ve developed an optimized core, they’ll use it to create a heat engine and then track its performance at the evaluation site.

Michael Kuntz, Vice President of Operations, expects the modular heat engines will produce a kilowatt each with lower operating costs than fossil fuel sources. “This is an opportunity to generate electricity cheaply and efficiently while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he says. “And the potential market is significant. In North America alone, we estimate the install base is on the order of a gigawatt.”

About Smarter Alloys
Smarter Alloys is at the forefront of the smart materials revolution. Our unique ability to program shape memory behaviour makes it possible to create complex machine-like function in simple devices. Thanks to our proprietary Multiple Memory MaterialTM technology, we are transforming the design and utility of shape memory alloys used in medical, dental, automotive, aerospace and consumer industries. Founded in 2010 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, Smarter Alloys is a privately controlled Canadian corporation. For more information, visit http://www.smarteralloys.com.

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Michael Kuntz
@SmarterAlloys
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