Demonstration of a Low-Pressure Water Turbine for Low-Temperature Waste Heat Recovery

Period of Performance: 01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Array
Rockledge, FL 32955
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


75622-High-temperature heat, a by-product in many processes, is often used for heating or in combined cycles to produce additional power. Other processes, including microturbines, internal combustion engines, and fuel cells, also produce heat as a by-product, but this heat is often wasted because its temperature is too low to be useful. This project will develop a commercially beneficial and viable system to generate power from low-temperature waste heat. The approach involves the development of a low-pressure-water, Rankine-cycle system, the most efficient and commercially viable low-temperature, waste-heat recovery system. It will outperform organic-Rankine cycle systems while avoiding the environmental issues, such as the global warming, raised by the use of organic working fluids. Phase I will design, fabricate, and demonstrate the low-pressure water turbine. The experimental results will be used to validate system efficiency and commercial viability, prior to proceeding to Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Potential commercial applications include power generation from low-temperature waste heat sources such as microturbines, internal combustion engines, and fuel cells. Because the source temperature is low, this system also should be applicable to solar energy conversion.