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General Electric will evaluate a highly efficient heat engine for natural gas pipeline compression. The project is centered on the conceptual design of a novel, hermetically sealed oil-free super-critical carbon dioxide (SCO2) bottoming cycle for a natural gas combustion turbine used for pipeline compression. The effort enables heat engine cycle efficiencies >50% by demonstrating the feasibility of a two-machine oil-free drivetrain consisting of a high-speed SCO2 turbo-compressor with a direct drive starter-generator aerodynamically coupled to a 60hz 10MW SCOturbo-generator. The primary deliverable of this project is the conceptual design of a 10MW SCO2 bottoming cycle and associated turbomachinery. The conceptual design includes an integrated approach between different disciplines such as thermodynamic cycles, aero design, rotor dynamics, bearing design, and electric machine sizing. One project outcome will be the definition of a suitable SCO2 bottoming cycle for highly-efficient heat engines that is deployable into remote locations with minimal to no operation oversight. Another outcome is the development of a process gas lubricated bearing system for MW-class turbomachinery for implementation in SCO2.

Candidate bearing concepts: additively manufactured
Principal Investigator
Bugra Ertas
Project Benefits

The NETL Advanced Turbines Program is focused on the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of revolutionary, near-zero-emission advanced turbines technologies intended to enable cost-competitive, fossil-based power generation with lower emissions including CO2. Projects within the Advanced Turbines Program are focused on addressing significant scientific and engineering challenges associated with meeting increasing demands on turbine technology when using hydrogen fuels derived from coal as well as pursuing new and promising turbine technologies and turbine-based power systems. Program and project emphasis is on understanding the underlying factors affecting combustion, aerodynamics/heat transfer, and materials for advanced turbines and turbine-based power cycles.

Project ID