Gas Turbine Generator Sets for Hybrid Vehicles 920441

A gas turbine-driven generator set is being developed as a range extender for a major automobile manufacturer's hybrid electric vehicle. The 24 kW continuous rating is sufficient to propel the automobile at maximum legal speed in the United States. For hill climbing and passing, 30 kW is available. A circumferential recuperator increases efficiency to 30% on unleaded gasoline.
There is no gearbox since the permanent magnet generator is mounted on the gas turbine shaft. There is no lubrication system as the rotor group shaft runs on air bearings. The complete generator set with recuperator weighs 36 kg (80 lb). The OEM price will be under $1,000 in automotive quantities. Production units will have catalytic combustion to reduce emissions to less than those of an electric utility power plant. California regulatory authorities have indicated that this could permit a hybrid vehicle to be classed as “zero emission”.


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