US20080047272A1 - Heat regenerative mini-turbine generator - Google Patents

Heat regenerative mini-turbine generator Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080047272A1
US20080047272A1 US11895667 US89566707A US2008047272A1 US 20080047272 A1 US20080047272 A1 US 20080047272A1 US 11895667 US11895667 US 11895667 US 89566707 A US89566707 A US 89566707A US 2008047272 A1 US2008047272 A1 US 2008047272A1
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Prior art keywords
steam
generator
fuel
combustion chamber
turbine
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11895667
Inventor
Harry Schoell
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CYCLONE POWER TECHNOLOGIES Inc
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CYCLONE POWER TECHNOLOGIES Inc
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01KSTEAM ENGINE PLANTS; STEAM ACCUMULATORS; ENGINE PLANTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; ENGINES USING SPECIAL WORKING FLUIDS OR CYCLES
    • F01K11/00Plants characterised by the engines being structurally combined with boilers or condensers
    • F01K11/02Plants characterised by the engines being structurally combined with boilers or condensers the engines being turbines

Abstract

A compact, lightweight steam turbine is connected to a central shaft that drives a high pressure pump, a high efficiency generator and a blower. An igniter burns fuel exiting a fuel injector to generate heat in a cyclone combustion chamber. Water pumped through coils is heated in the combustion chamber to produce steam energy to drive the turbine. Exhaust steam is directed through a centrifugal condenser having an arrangement of flat plates to condense the steam to a liquid state. The turbine drives the generator at a high rpm, through the connected shaft, to generate electric power.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This non-provisional patent application is based on provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/840,786 filed on Oct. 28, 2006.
  • DISCUSSION OF THE RELATED ART
  • Portable generators for producing electricity are typically powered by combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel. Combustion engine powered portable generators are known to be noisy (i.e. loud) and are not fuel efficient. For this reason, portable generators powered by combustion engines are primarily used for emergency power situations when more efficient conventional power sources are unavailable. Additionally, gasoline and diesel powered combustion engines are considerably heavy and bulky. This adds to the overall size and weight of portable generators, making them difficult to transport when used in mobile field operations.
  • Accordingly, there remains an urgent need for a fuel efficient portable generator that is relatively quiet, compact in size, lightweight and easy to transport. Further, there is a need for a portable, fuel efficient generator that operates on multiple fuel types, including a mixture of different fuel types. Finally, there is a need for a portable, fuel efficient generator that uses heat regeneration for greater efficiency.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides a heat regenerative mini-turbine generator in a compact, lightweight unit. The unit includes a steam turbine connected to a central shaft that drives a high pressure pump, a high efficiency generator and a blower. An igniter burns fuel exiting a fuel injector to generate heat in a cyclone combustion chamber. Water pumped through coils is heated in the combustion chamber to produce steam energy to drive the turbine. Exhaust steam is directed through a centrifugal condenser having an arrangement of flat plates to condense the steam to a liquid state. The turbine drives the generator, through the connected shaft, to generate electric power. It is necessary to drive the generator at a high rpm to achieve the lightweight and small size. However, it is known that turbines in small sizes have poor efficiency. The use of heat regeneration helps this deficiency. The turbine heat exchanger, condenser and re-heaters are all contained in one small package. The unit is water lubricated and operates in a closed loop system. According to several preferred embodiments, the generator unit operates in a compact envelope at weight of approximately 10-25 lbs. The unit size can be scaled up or down to accommodate different power output requirements.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For a fuller understanding of the nature of the present invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a top plan view, shown in partial phantom lines, illustrating the heat regenerative mini-turbine generator of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, in partial cross-section, showing the main component parts of the heat regenerative mini-turbine generator; and
  • FIG. 3 is an isolated view of a steam ejector nozzle fitted to a turbine housing for ejecting a pressurized flow of steam against a cupped perimeter of a turbine wheel to forcibly drive rotation of the turbine wheel and a central shaft.
  • Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring to the several views of the drawings, and initially FIG. 2, the heat regenerative mini-turbine generator is shown and is generally indicated a 10.
  • The generator 10 is supported on a base 12 that may include feet 14 on the bottom for supported engagement on a floor, ground or counter surface. A fuel tank 16 rests on the top of the base. In a preferred embodiment, the fuel tank 16 is circular (i.e. donut shaped) to provide an open central area above the base that accommodates a centrifugal blower 22 and an alternator 20. A fill spout 18 with a cap 19 extends upwardly from the fuel tank to facilitate refilling of fuel.
  • A condenser chamber 30 sits above the fuel tank 16 and alternator 20 and contains a centrifugal condenser 32 and a condensate collection pan 36 at the bottom of the condenser chamber. The centrifugal condenser has a spaced arrangement of condenser plates 34 that present a large surface area for maximizing heat transfer within a relatively compact space. A sight gauge 38 on the exterior of the condenser chamber indicates a working fluid level (i.e. water level) within the condensate collection pan 36. Water can be added through a fill spout 37 at the top of the site gauge by removing a pressure relief cap 39. When a desired working fluid level is indicated in the sight gauge 38, the pressure relief cap 39 is replaced on the fill spout 37.
  • A fuel pump 40 pulls fuel from the fuel tank 16 and directs a supply of fuel through hose 42 leading to fuel injector 44. The fuel injector 44 directs a spray of fuel past an igniter 46 to burn the sprayed fuel. The burning fuel is directed into a cyclone combustion chamber 50 that surrounds a tube bundle 54. An igniter coil 48 connects to the igniter 46 and is powered by a battery (not shown). The blower 22 directs air flow from air intake 58 on the base 12 of the generator through the condenser chamber 30, about the exterior of the centrifugal condenser plates 34. A portion of the air flow (approximately 20%) from the blower 22 is directed to air duct 60 leading to the cyclone combustion chamber 50, thereby providing sufficient airflow to promote combustion of the fuel. The directed airflow into the cyclone combustion chamber 50 helps to circulate the heat around the circular combustion chamber so that hot gases from combustion circulate around and over the tube bundle 54. The cyclone combustion chamber 50 is surrounded by an insulated wall structure, including an insulated cover 64 and an insulated central section 65 partially surrounding a turbine housing 70. The turbine housing 70 is centrally positioned above the centrifugal condenser 32 and contains a turbine wheel 72. The central shaft 76 is fixed to the center of the turbine wheel 72 and is supported on bearings 78. The shaft 76 extends downwardly from the turbine wheel 72 and into driven engagement with the alternator 20 and blower 22 at the lower end. Rotation of the shaft 76 drives the blower 22, the alternator 20 and a centrifugal water pump 80 in the bottom of the condensate collection pan 36. The water pump 80 directs a flow of water to bypass governor 84. At normal operating pressure, water flow is directed to heat exchanger 86 at the top of the centrifugal condenser 32 for pre-heating the water. From the heat exchanger 86, the water flow is directed to a conduit 87 leading to a splitter valve 88 at the top center of the combustion chamber. The splitter valve 88 directs the water flow through the tube bundle 54 leading to multiple steam ejector nozzles 90. In a preferred embodiment, the splitter valve splits into four separate tubes 92 in the tube bundle 54, with each tube 92 leading to one of four steam ejector nozzles 90. In the tube bundle 54, within the cyclone combustion chamber 50, the pre-heated water is heated to produce steam which is directed to each of the steam ejector nozzles 90. The steam ejector nozzles 90 are fitted to the turbine housing 70 and are arranged at an optimal angle and position to direct the ejected steam into cup shaped members 73 about the periphery of the turbine wheel 72. The force from the ejected steam drives the turbine wheel 72 to rotate the shaft 76. When the turbine wheel RPMs get above normal operating speed (i.e. too high), the increasing pressure of water flow from the water pump 80 causes a valve member in the bypass governor 84 to be operated to a bypass position, causing water flow to bypass the normal passage 85 leading to the heat exchanger 86 and, instead, going to a conduit 94 leading to the turbine housing 70. In the bypass position, the pressurized water flow is directed into the turbine housing and against the turbine wheel 72, with the impinging force of the pressurized water flow against the flat face of the turbine wheel 72 having the effect of slowing the turbine wheel, and, thereby, slowing the RPMs to a normal operating speed.
  • Air flow through the condenser chamber 30 from blower 22 is exhausted through cooling exhaust port 96. Combustion gases within the cyclone combustion chamber are exhausted through exhaust port 98 on the top of the cover.
  • An electric control panel 100 includes an ON/OFF switch 102 to start and stop operation of the generator. Upon initial start up, the ON/OFF switch 102 is operated to energize the alternator 20. During startup, the alternator 20 is motorized, using power from the battery (not shown) to turn the shaft 76 and turbine wheel 72. This allows for initial operation of the blower 22, water pump 80 and fuel pump 40. The fuel pump 40 then directs the fuel supply to the injector 44 and igniter 46 assembly to generate hot gases in the cyclone combustion chamber 50, while the water pump 80 directs water flow to the tube bundle 54. Once steam is produced, the turbine wheel 72 is driven by the ejected steam and the alternator 20 switches from start up mode to normal alternator operation.
  • A voltage regulator 104 on the side of the unit connects to the alternator 20. The voltage regulator 104 provides DC voltage at connection terminals 106,108.
  • While the present invention has been shown and described in accordance with a preferred and practical embodiment, it is recognized that departures from the instant disclosure are contemplated within the spirit and scope of the invention which, therefore, is not to be limited except as defined in the following claims, as interpreted under the doctrine of equivalence.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A generator for producing electric power comprising:
    a combustion chamber;
    a fuel burner for burning fuel to generate heat in said combustion chamber and including a fuel injector communicating with said combustion chamber and an igniter for burning fuel exiting said fuel injector;
    a blower for directing air flow into said combustion chamber to promote burning of the fuel and for circulating the heat from the burning fuel through said combustion chamber;
    at least one steam tube coil in said combustion chamber;
    at least one steam ejection nozzle connected to said at least one steam tube coil;
    a water pump for pumping water from a collection reservoir through said at least one steam tube coil, wherein the water is heated by the heat in said combustion chamber to produce steam for release from said at least one steam ejection nozzle;
    a steam driven turbine;
    said at least one steam ejection nozzle being structured and disposed to direct a flow of pressurized steam into said turbine to cause driven rotation of said turbine;
    a central shaft connected to said turbine and rotatable with said turbine;
    an alternator driven by rotation of said central shaft for generating electric current;
    a condenser for condensing exhaust steam exiting said turbine to produce liquid condensate, and said condenser being structured to direct the liquid condensate into the collection reservoir; and
    an electric power output connected to said alternator.
  2. 2. The generator as recited in claim 1 further comprising:
    a plurality of said steam tube coils in said combustion chamber; and
    a plurality of said steam ejection nozzles, with each of said plurality of steam ejection nozzles connected to a respective one of said plurality of steam tube coils, and said plurality of steam ejection nozzles being structured, disposed and arranged to direct the flow of pressurized steam into said turbine to cause driven rotation of said turbine.
  3. 3. The generator as recited in claim 1 wherein said combustion chamber surrounds said at least one steam tube coil.
  4. 4. The generator as recited in claim 2 wherein said combustion chamber is structured and disposed to surround said plurality of steam tube coils.
  5. 5. The generator as recited in claim 1 wherein said water pump is driven by rotation of said central shaft.
  6. 6. The generator as recited in claim 1 wherein said blower is driven by rotation of said central shaft.
  7. 7. The generator as recited in claim 1 wherein said blower is structured and disposed for directing the air flow around said condenser for cooling the exhaust steam.
  8. 8. The generator as recited in claim 1 wherein said electric power output includes a voltage regulator.
  9. 9. The generator as recited in claim 8 wherein said electric power output includes at least one pair of connection terminals.
  10. 10. The generator as recited in claim 1 further comprising:
    a fuel tank for holding a supply of fuel; and
    a fuel pump for directing fuel from said fuel tank to said fuel burner.
  11. 11. A generator for producing electric power comprising:
    a combustion chamber;
    a fuel burner connected to a fuel supply, and said fuel burner being structured for burning fuel to generate heat in said combustion chamber;
    a blower for directing air flow into said combustion chamber to promote burning of the fuel and for circulating the heat from the burning fuel through said combustion chamber;
    at least one steam tube coil in said combustion chamber;
    at least one steam ejection nozzle connected to said at least one steam tube coil;
    a water pump for pumping water from a collection reservoir through said at least one steam tube coil, wherein the water is heated by the heat in said combustion chamber to produce steam for release from said at least one steam ejection nozzle;
    a steam driven turbine;
    said at least one steam ejection nozzle being structured and disposed to direct a flow of pressurized steam into said turbine to cause driven rotation of said turbine;
    a central shaft connected to said turbine and rotatable with said turbine;
    an alternator driven by rotation of said central shaft for generating electric current;
    a condenser for condensing exhaust steam exiting said turbine to produce liquid condensate, and said condenser being structured to direct the liquid condensate into the collection reservoir; and
    an electric power output connected to said alternator.
  12. 12. The generator as recited in claim 11 further comprising:
    a plurality of steam tube coils in said combustion chamber; and
    a plurality of said steam ejection nozzles, with each of said plurality of steam ejection nozzles connected to a respective one of said plurality of steam tube coils, and said plurality of steam ejection nozzles being structured, disposed and arranged to direct the flow of pressurized steam into said turbine to cause driven rotation of said turbine.
  13. 13. The generator as recited in claim 11 wherein said combustion chamber surrounds said at least one steam tube coil.
  14. 14. The generator as recited in claim 12 wherein said combustion chamber is structured and disposed to surround said plurality of steam tube coils.
  15. 15. The generator as recited in claim 11 wherein said water pump is driven by rotation of said central shaft.
  16. 16. The generator as recited in claim 11 wherein said blower is driven by rotation of said central shaft.
  17. 17. The generator as recited in claim 11 wherein said blower is structured and disposed for directing the air flow around said condenser for cooling the exhaust steam.
  18. 18. The generator as recited in claim 11 wherein said electric power output includes a voltage regulator.
  19. 19. The generator as recited in claim 18 wherein said electric power output includes at least one pair of connection terminals.
  20. 20. The generator as recited in claim 11 further comprising:
    a fuel tank for holding the supply of fuel; and
    a fuel pump for directing fuel from said fuel tank to said fuel burner.
US11895667 2006-08-28 2007-08-27 Heat regenerative mini-turbine generator Abandoned US20080047272A1 (en)

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PCT/US2007/018891 WO2008027364A3 (en) 2006-08-28 2007-08-28 Heat regenerative mini-turbine generator

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US20100229544A1 (en) * 2009-03-12 2010-09-16 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and Methods for Improving Drivetrain Efficiency for Compressed Gas Energy Storage
US20110000407A1 (en) * 2009-07-01 2011-01-06 Terry Edgar Bassett Waste Oil Electrical Generation Systems
US7900444B1 (en) 2008-04-09 2011-03-08 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using compressed gas
US20110056368A1 (en) * 2009-09-11 2011-03-10 Mcbride Troy O Energy storage and generation systems and methods using coupled cylinder assemblies
US20110079010A1 (en) * 2009-01-20 2011-04-07 Mcbride Troy O Systems and methods for combined thermal and compressed gas energy conversion systems
US20110079012A1 (en) * 2009-10-06 2011-04-07 Young Jin Baik Rankine cycle system and method of controlling the same
US20110219763A1 (en) * 2008-04-09 2011-09-15 Mcbride Troy O Systems and methods for efficient pumping of high-pressure fluids for energy storage and recovery
US8046990B2 (en) 2009-06-04 2011-11-01 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for improving drivetrain efficiency for compressed gas energy storage and recovery systems
CN102323374A (en) * 2011-06-09 2012-01-18 中国科学技术大学 Pre-mixed combustion experiment system capable of continuously blowing and spraying dust in open space
US8104274B2 (en) 2009-06-04 2012-01-31 Sustainx, Inc. Increased power in compressed-gas energy storage and recovery
US8117842B2 (en) 2009-11-03 2012-02-21 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for compressed-gas energy storage using coupled cylinder assemblies
US8171728B2 (en) 2010-04-08 2012-05-08 Sustainx, Inc. High-efficiency liquid heat exchange in compressed-gas energy storage systems
US8191362B2 (en) 2010-04-08 2012-06-05 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for reducing dead volume in compressed-gas energy storage systems
US8225606B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-07-24 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using rapid isothermal gas expansion and compression
US8234863B2 (en) 2010-05-14 2012-08-07 Sustainx, Inc. Forming liquid sprays in compressed-gas energy storage systems for effective heat exchange
US8240146B1 (en) 2008-06-09 2012-08-14 Sustainx, Inc. System and method for rapid isothermal gas expansion and compression for energy storage
US8240140B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-08-14 Sustainx, Inc. High-efficiency energy-conversion based on fluid expansion and compression
US8250863B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-08-28 Sustainx, Inc. Heat exchange with compressed gas in energy-storage systems
US8448433B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2013-05-28 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using gas expansion and compression
US8474255B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2013-07-02 Sustainx, Inc. Forming liquid sprays in compressed-gas energy storage systems for effective heat exchange
US8479505B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2013-07-09 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for reducing dead volume in compressed-gas energy storage systems
US8495872B2 (en) 2010-08-20 2013-07-30 Sustainx, Inc. Energy storage and recovery utilizing low-pressure thermal conditioning for heat exchange with high-pressure gas
US8539763B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2013-09-24 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for efficient two-phase heat transfer in compressed-air energy storage systems
US8578708B2 (en) 2010-11-30 2013-11-12 Sustainx, Inc. Fluid-flow control in energy storage and recovery systems
US8667792B2 (en) 2011-10-14 2014-03-11 Sustainx, Inc. Dead-volume management in compressed-gas energy storage and recovery systems
US8677744B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-03-25 SustaioX, Inc. Fluid circulation in energy storage and recovery systems
US20150241085A1 (en) * 2014-02-27 2015-08-27 Charles Robert Justus Energy supply module and method of assembling the same

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US8359856B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2013-01-29 Sustainx Inc. Systems and methods for efficient pumping of high-pressure fluids for energy storage and recovery
US8763390B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-07-01 Sustainx, Inc. Heat exchange with compressed gas in energy-storage systems
US7900444B1 (en) 2008-04-09 2011-03-08 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using compressed gas
US8733094B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-05-27 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using rapid isothermal gas expansion and compression
US8240140B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-08-14 Sustainx, Inc. High-efficiency energy-conversion based on fluid expansion and compression
US8733095B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-05-27 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for efficient pumping of high-pressure fluids for energy
US8225606B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-07-24 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using rapid isothermal gas expansion and compression
US8209974B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-07-03 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using compressed gas
US8448433B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2013-05-28 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using gas expansion and compression
US20110219763A1 (en) * 2008-04-09 2011-09-15 Mcbride Troy O Systems and methods for efficient pumping of high-pressure fluids for energy storage and recovery
US8250863B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2012-08-28 Sustainx, Inc. Heat exchange with compressed gas in energy-storage systems
US8713929B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-05-06 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using compressed gas
US8677744B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-03-25 SustaioX, Inc. Fluid circulation in energy storage and recovery systems
US8627658B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2014-01-14 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for energy storage and recovery using rapid isothermal gas expansion and compression
US8479505B2 (en) 2008-04-09 2013-07-09 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for reducing dead volume in compressed-gas energy storage systems
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US8122718B2 (en) 2009-01-20 2012-02-28 Sustainx, Inc. Systems and methods for combined thermal and compressed gas energy conversion systems
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US8344528B2 (en) 2009-07-01 2013-01-01 Terry Edgar Bassett Waste oil electrical generation systems
US20110000407A1 (en) * 2009-07-01 2011-01-06 Terry Edgar Bassett Waste Oil Electrical Generation Systems
US20110056368A1 (en) * 2009-09-11 2011-03-10 Mcbride Troy O Energy storage and generation systems and methods using coupled cylinder assemblies
US8468815B2 (en) 2009-09-11 2013-06-25 Sustainx, Inc. Energy storage and generation systems and methods using coupled cylinder assemblies
US8109085B2 (en) 2009-09-11 2012-02-07 Sustainx, Inc. Energy storage and generation systems and methods using coupled cylinder assemblies
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US20110079012A1 (en) * 2009-10-06 2011-04-07 Young Jin Baik Rankine cycle system and method of controlling the same
US8646272B2 (en) * 2009-10-06 2014-02-11 Korea Institute Of Energy Research Rankine cycle system and method of controlling the same
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US8661808B2 (en) 2010-04-08 2014-03-04 Sustainx, Inc. High-efficiency heat exchange in compressed-gas energy storage systems
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