Nirvana Home Energy System

The patented Nirvana Thermo Acoustic Power Stick™ (TAPS™) technology converts gas into electricity at an efficiency greater than the average efficiency of the US power grid, and simultaneously produces excess heat for domestic hot water and/or space heating at over 90% efficiency.
The patented Nirvana Thermo Acoustic Power Stick™ (TAPS™) technology converts gas into electricity at an efficiency greater than the average efficiency of the US power grid, and simultaneously produces excess heat for domestic hot water and/or space heating at over 90% efficiency.

“Imagine if your hot water heater could generate enough electricity to power your entire house, while still heating your water. That’s the promise of Nirvana’s Home Energy System. Using clean natural gas that’s already running to your house, our combined heat and power (CHP) system generates electricity, hot water and heat (for radiator-based home heating).

Nirvana’s Home Energy System:
– Costs about the same as a boiler
– Generates electricity at rates generally lower than local utilities
– Heats water
– Lowers your carbon footprint
– Works during utility power outages
– Excess electricity can usually be sold back to the power company

Economic benefits:
– Significantly reduces energy bill by generating heat and electricity from the same device
– Payback in 2-3 years

Environmental benefits:
– Reduces CO2 footprint (Greenhouse gasses).
– Reduces energy consumption
– Creates a more-stable energy grid

General benefits:
– Simple, reliable, quiet, small Power Stick™
– Simple replacement of boiler/hot water heater
– Increase reliability in time of natural disasters

The TAPS™ technology is quiet, and vibration free allowing the TAPS™ system to be placed in the kitchen, cellar or attic. It is small in size, less than 32″ in length, and 8-10″ in diameter while producing 2-4 KWe and 15-35 KWh. The TAPS™ unit weighs less than 60 pounds. The TAPS™ system is networked via the Internet and multiple units can be connected into a distributed power plant.

Source: Nirvana Energy Systems
Note: This is the real deal. Nirvana’s TAPS energy system was developed in cooperation with NASA Glenn Research Center. The system is currently undergoing testing for commercializtion. According to the press release from NASA, “The Thermo Acoustic Power Stick or TAPS… is designed to convert a home’s natural gas supply into electricity, providing the home with its own mini power plant, or micro-grid.”

I read about these exciting sustainable energy breakthroughs every day at TAPS is one of many emerging co-generation or combined heat and power (CHP) energy systems. The same systems can also provide cooling. ‘GreenWin’, a knowledgeable and frequent commenter on the e-catworld blog, points out “This is a rather huge development since the thermo-acoustic Stirling uses no moving parts to generate it’s energy. As best as I can determine from the patent, they tune a standing acoustic wave to compress and decompress a ferromagnetic gas/liquid. The invention belongs to the American people as it was developed at NASA GRC. The NA rights have been exclusively assigned to Nirvana, a principle of which is A. Dyson one of the NASA inventors.” So wow, maybe we’ll see this on the market in the next few years.

Taking this a step further, someday we might be using MagneGas fuel made from industrial and agricultural wastes in these TAPS energy systems instead of natural gas. Developed by multi-Nobel candidate Dr. Ruggero Maria Santilli under DOE grants, MagneGas is already on the market in select locations. Watch the videos on the MagneGas website for more details. This is an exciting company to follow. One example is MagneGas plasma arc processing of flu gas from coal power plants can reduce CO2 emissions by 30-40%, increase heat output and reduce other pollutants. Each of the thousands of coal power plants in the world could save millions of dollars per year using the MagneGas system.

15 thoughts on “Nirvana Home Energy System”

  1. I’ve been brushing up on thermoacoustics, and I do have one concern with any such system. Unless you make a habit of repairing brass musical instruments, it would be effectively impossible to repair critical parts in the field. If there were any problems, you’d have to pull the whole unit and send it back to the factory. It would also be incredibly sensitive, slight variations in fuel quality or flow, vibration, heat, virtually any variation from laboratory conditions would disable it. It would be like running all your home’s vital systems through a first generation Xbox. Personally, one of the main attractions I find for natural building is empowerment. If I built it myself, I know where every pipe and wire runs and what they do. If it breaks, I can fix it, and I’m not dependent on anyone.

    • Maybe, but this was developed for NASA spaceflight as far as I know. They wouldn’t use a risky technology to power multimillion dollar spacecraft. Of course a commercial version of this would be much lower quality, so who knows. I wouldn’t want to buy the first generation of something cutting edge. Better to wait for the technology to mature a bit and prices to drop.

  2. Thanks Malcom.

    All of my worst nightmares occur while I’m awake. Usually in the presence of city or county building staff. During such nightmares, I often find myself wanting to go full John McEnroe, “You CAN’T be SERIOUS!!!.”

    However, I try to fight that instinct as much as possible. A more Yoda type attitude is far more helpful,

    “Beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it has the building inspectors. Do not underestimate the powers of the Building Department or suffer you will. ”

  3. If you live in a pineapple under the sea, you could easily supply all your energy needs with a crude radiothermal generator. And just to give Jay a few more nightmares, imagine undersea methane hydrate mining. After all, it’s essentially frozen methane, the only thing it would take to get it back to our more familiar gaseous methane would be a small localized temperature increase. Like the one that would be caused by mining activity. Do everything just exactly wrong, and you might just manage to set the ocean on fire.

  4. Haha…..I love getting your goat sometimes. Apparently Jay you didn’t read my first 2 sentences. They went….You know Jay you make excellent points. Something to be considered. Whenever I say something “contrary” you come back with more insight. Rimshot……you are right. I’m sticking with wind, solar, hydro. When 1 stops another kicks in. The water stops when it freezes to a trickle. The solar gets through even on bad days and the wind is slow on some days THEN I’ll use a generator to charge low batteries when needed. This will have an automatic start when it does. Thanks Jay. You’ve got spunk that I like.

  5. I guess Carroll missed the last sentence of the paragraph where I suggested the backup generator.

    “Power it with woodgas, biogas, or homemade biodiesel.”

    And… if you live someplace where the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow… I suggest moving to a house that is not at the bottom of a fracking well.

    Might want to avoid building your house in a pineapple under the sea while you’re at it.


    If you don’t get the pineapple reference, ask your kids (or grandkids) about it. They’ll explain it to ya. Maybe even make you sit down and watch a cartoon with them. ;)

    okay… enough jokes…

    The sun doesn’t ALWAYS have to shine nor the wind ALWAYS have to blow for such systems to be extremely effective. The key is intelligent design. As I stated, it STARTS with “using as little as possible in the first place.”

    It’s a simple fact that fossil fuels will eventually become scarce enough that they will no longer be affordable to most people. The only important question is how much money are you willing to have sucked out of your pocket before that day comes?

    TAPS is a system to maximize how much money gets sucked out of the consumer’s pocket before the entire energy infrastructure collapses. It’s not really an electricity generation system. It’s a wallet depletion scheme.

    The smart consumer is making the shift today. Building their own home energy systems so that they are covered when everyone else is in a panic. Might as well start saving money now. For those with a reasonable amount of DIY ability, building these systems now can save a small fortune over the next 10-20 years, starting today.

    Meanwhile, better build a big roof to collect rainwater to drink, because it seems clear that tainted groundwater is going to become the norm as everywhere gets fracked. Unless you want your children and grandchildren to go thirsty, and/or have birth defects? Better build up your permaculture swales so that you don’t need to irrigate with polluted well water too.

    Thankfully there will be that expensive TAPS system to power the well pump for that polluted water. Won’t that be utopia… uh… or should I say Nirvana?

  6. You know Jay you make excellent points. Something to be considered. I do have to say that not all people live in an environment where it’s always sunny or windy and running that generator to keep those batteries up might also be feeding that oil company. Then there’s the deforestation if your burning up all the wood plus the smoke polluting the air. Basically there’s those who see it as it is…….there’s really no right answer. Sad but true. Texas should have put their foot down a long time a go but, they didn’t. Why? Because where it happened hired the people living there. They don’t care because it gives them a paycheck so they can feed their families.

  7. If we are looking for bridge solutions to get people by during a transition period…

    Let’s toss out a few suggestions for people to ponder…

    I suggest looking at low cost natural methods for retrofitting existing houses.

    How about wrapping an already built standard stick framed house? Make it superinsulated.

    Gary Reysa of has his “half program” where he has built his own systems in an attempt to cut his energy consumption in half. Those are the kinds of ideas that need to gain acceptance among the general population, whether they are interested in building an off the grid natural home or not.

    Often, the smartest and most cost effective choice is NOT to build a new house, but to renovate an old one. Sadly when most average people consider a renovation, they think first about all the different CRAP that they think they need to buy at their local Home Despots.

    Imagine if average people didn’t use drywall, but started using earthen plasters on the interior of their homes?

    Imagine if every homeowner planted trees to coppice on their own property to give them a perpetual supply of wood fuel?

    Imagine if every home’s sewage stack didn’t directly connect to a city’s sewage system, but passed through an anerobic digester first? Imagine if that biogas were used to help heat the home, or cook, or heat hot water? (That would require building inspector approval, probably in the form of an engineer’s stamp.)

    How many people realize how extremely inexpensive it can be to MAKE YOUR OWN fire retardant cellulose insulation? You can easily make essentially the same stuff people buy at the home center in those big bags and blow into their walls and attics. Just build a papercrete mixer, throw in old newspapers, water, and a box of laundry borax. Mix to a pulp and pour it out in blocks to let it dry. Those blocks can be use directly in an attic, or they can be run through a landscapers’ chipper shredder to become a loose insulation to be blown into walls. Just be certain to test your final dried product to make certain that it will NOT support combustion. (Building inspectors won’t know the difference on this one. Trust me. I’ve done it before. It looks like the commercial stuff to them.)

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of building in areas with few or no building codes.

    That may not be an option for many people who want to continue in their career where the jobs are in metropolitan areas.

    The trick will be to figure out what you can get your local building inspector to approve.

    However, there are many options that do not require building inspector approval.

    Strategically plant trees to shade your house, or build a pergola or trellis to grow vines that will provide shade.

    Perhaps this might make for a worthwhile blog post?

    Create a list of ideas that CAN be done, even in areas with building codes, where people can take steps to improve their homes using natural methods and materials. With each item in the list, provide links to where that material or technique is discussed in more detail on this blog and/or on other websites as appropriate?

    Perhaps the comments of such a blog post might become a brainstorming list where comments become suggestions of various ideas for natural options when renovating a home, even in areas restricted by building codes?

    I bet most people will be surprised at how long that list might become.

    With the correct and appropriate emphasis on this blog about building in areas with few or no building codes, many people may get the incorrect impression that none of the ideas discussed here can be used in metropolitan areas with codes where most people live.

    Yes, many ideas discussed on this blog may be impractical or extremely expensive to get past a building inspector, but a vast amount of other natural materials and ideas are easily used A N Y W H E R E.

    Natural Building need not be something completely inaccessible to the majority of the population that live in cities that are usually restricted with building codes. There are SOME choices that most anyone can make regardless of where they live.

    In my humble opinion, that is a message worth expressing clearly.

  8. Demand for Natural Gas is already causing energy companies to use fracking.

    I’ve posted this link before, but it’s worth posting again here:

    I guess if you don’t mind your well water becoming flammable someone might think this TAPS system makes sense. I don’t. Non-contaminated water may soon become more valuable than natural gas and electricity combined.

    Does it make sense to encourage MORE of this activity by buying more natural gas?

    What a freekin’ nightmare!

    I’d rather build a superinsulated house, with passive solar design, and maybe a few DIY active solar thermal panels (Gary Reysa style) to heat a big water tank to supplement the passive system.

    Have a small wood heater for backup.

    Then a very small solar photovoltaic panel and perhaps a wind turbine to generate just enough electricity to power a few efficient bulbs, some electronics, and presto. I’m energy independent. I’m not paying money to oil companies, gas companies, or anyone else for pretty much the rest of my life.

    A well designed small house shouldn’t need 200 amps of 240 volt AC power. (The standard for code approved construction.) A couple thousand watts is more than sufficient to power a well designed house.

    Add a very tiny electric generator to charge the batteries when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, or one needs to run something like a welder. Power it with woodgas, biogas, or homemade biodiesel.

    The smartest plan for inexpensive energy independence STARTS with using as little as possible in the first place.

    The technologies already exist, and if you build your own systems, they are very inexpensive in cost.

    In my opinion, one will find the opposite of “nirvana” if one uses TAPS. It adds more problems than it solves, no matter how “efficient” it might be.

    I’m betting that “Nirvana’s” (what a misnomer of a corporate name) “efficiency” claims don’t include the costs of polluted water from fracking chemicals and wells that catch on fire. Who pays for all that? Not Nirvana!! They pass those costs on to the rest of us, and our children, and our grandchildren.

    Doesn’t sound like my idea of nirvana. My idea of nirvana is a house I build myself that I can pass on to the next generation and have it power itself without polluting my land or anyone else’s.

    • Yes, build a superinsulated energy efficient home as explained on this blog. The Nirvana (and other similar products coming soon) could be a cost effective bridge solution for those unwilling to make major changes. I’m certainly not advocating fracking — it’s terrible. The natural gas energy source could be replaced with better alternatives such as MagnaGas as they become available. This sounds better than 300 million people tied to the grid. So anyway these type of products could help people transition to more sustainable lifestyles.

  9. I like this with the exception of MagneGas’s use of sludge on growing food. This IS too dangerous which has been proven. Nirvana is on to something very good and is worth a closer look.

    • Their plasma arc processing should be safe and effective. They’re not just dumping sludge on crops. I think producing energy might be the most efficient use of this system.


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