Recovery Act - Advanced Technology High Efficiency Low Cost Small Turbine for DG and CHP

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Candent Technologies, Inc.
6107 W. Airport Blvd Suite 190
Greenfield, IN 46140
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Efficient and environmentally friendly power generation is a national goal. While large scale power plants are demonstrating thermal efficiencies of 50%, the cost and environmental impact of increasing the size of current power plants and expansion of the grid to distribute this power are making this approach increasingly difficult and expensive. Alternative distributed power gen systems driven by available diesel systems are not environmentally friendly and require high maintenance. Small gas turbines are currently limited to approximately 33% efficiency, and are expensive as well. Fuel cell systems, although more environmentally friendly, are not currently economically viable do to extremely high initial costs. This program is dedicated to the development of a small distributed power generation system with a thermal efficiency of greater than 50% and an installed cost of no more than $375/kW. The prime power source for the system is a highly efficient, low cost advanced small gas turbine engine first demonstrated under U.S. Army sponsorship. During Phase I of this DOE SBIR project, a study of the current, advanced technology, prototype gas turbine engine design and its thermodynamic cycle has been conducted, in order to determine what changes are necessary to enhance its performance and provide an even higher efficiency system for a power generation role. The results of the analysis and design effort indicate that a high pressure ratio gas turbine combined with a bottoming cycle can be used to provide efficient distributed electrical power, and when used in a CHP system, substantially reduce the amount of energy consumed and green house gases produced. Preliminary design and analysis has verified the technical and economic feasibility of this power generation system. The results of Phase I will be the basis for final design of the critical components to be tested in Phase II. This effort includes the final design, fabrication and test of a prototype gas turbine engine core incorporating these new advanced technology components, which are the key technology step in the commercialization of the system. At present time discussions are ongoing with major OEMs who are potential partners, and who may invest in order to fabricate and test a full up system prototype, setting the stage for a successful Phase III and production launch. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The overall off the road annual diesel engine market for units in the 0.5 to 2.0 MW size is over 43,700 engines per year, including power generation, marine propulsion and auxiliary power, and mechanical applications. An advanced technology gas turbine based power system, such as the one proposed, could replace many higher pollution diesels in this market with the benefits of lower exhaust emissions and higher thermal efficiency. The new advanced gas turbine