The use of distributed power generation (DG) is a key player in the development of stronger economies in the developing world as well as in bolstering electricity generation in the U.S. at times of peak energy usage or in supplementing other clean energy technologies that may fluctuate with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind and PV). Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the effective implementation of DG in the developing world is making technologies user friendly, both in the sense of having locally-produced fuels (from waste biomaterial) and machines that are easy to maintain and operate under harsh conditions.
The boiler/generator systems currently under development by CSR are robust in nature and ideally sized to create electricity on a scale of 100 - 4,000 kW. The most common competitor to the steam-based, distributed generation technology proposed by CSR is the diesel electric-generator, which produces electricy at a cost of $0.30 per kWh, requires expensive diesel fuel to operate, is difficult to repair when broken (especially in rural environments or the developing world), emits noxious gases and is disturbingly noisy. The benefits of an inexpensive, locally-fueled, easy-to-repair, clean burning and quiet steam electric-generator becomes apparent.
Initial estimates indicate that electricty using a first-generation, 100kW generator system under design by CSR can create electricy at roughly half the $0.30 per kWh, with close-to-zero maintenance on the boiler over 30 years and minimal maintenance to the steam transmission system and generator. With refinement, the cost of energy generation will be significantly decreased, let alone the ability to use excess heat for cooking, heating (in winter) and other thermal processes.