1998-04-21

TurboGenerator™ Power Systems for Electric Power Generation 981278

The search for clean, compact, cost effective energy sources isn't new. In fact it is as old as humanity. Over the past decade AlliedSignal has focused its attention developing TurboGenerator™ Power Systems that can be used in industrial, automotive and aerospace applications, AlliedSignal's creation was inspired by meshing its best aerospace technology with its high-volume manufacturing capability.The TurboGenerator™ Power System was first developed as an electric power and water heating cogeneration system for the US Gas Research Institute. The technology next found its way into an under armor APU installed in US army tanks including being tested on the US Army's main battle tank, the M1A1. From there, the technology was applied to hybrid electric vehicles in the US with the Department of Energy and Ford and in France with Renault and Peugeot. These first and second generation units have accumulated thousands of hours in test in the laboratory, on vehicles and at utility/industrial installations tied to the grid.This paper will describe the development of a 40 kW industrial TurboGenerator™ Power System that was derived from 50kW automotive hybrid engine TurboGenerator™. It gives a detailed description of key design features and the evolution to the 75 kW production TurboGenerator™ Power System. Applications of the TurboGenerator™ Power System such as distributed generation, stand-by power, off-grid and remote power, cogeneration, UPS and high power quality and hybrid systems combining fuel cells and solar with the TurboGenerator™ will be presented.TurboGenerator™ Power Systems are relatively unique in that the turbine wheel, compressor impeller and patented electric generator are all mounted on a single, common shaft which is supported on patented air bearings. These features along with electronic power conditioning eliminate the need for both the gearbox and oil lubrication commonly found on conventional gas turbines engines. This significantly simplifies the mechanical design with resulting reliability, durability and maintainability improvements. Other features include recuperation and low emission combustion on a variety of gaseous and liquid fuels that result in TurboGenerator™ Power Systems that consume little fuel, are compact and light weight and operate quietly while having low emissions.The lowest cost distributed generation solutions are the AlliedSignal TurboGenerator™ Power Systems with an eventual installed first cost of $350/kW to $400/kW and an operating cost including maintenance when using natural gas in the US of 4.3 cents/kW hour. Operating costs for other fuels and geographies will also be given.

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