New Mini-Turbine is Capable of Powering an Entire Town

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In the course of our technological history, we have seen devices start off as a huge (and often heavy) devices. However, as the demand for more power in compact devices grows, the technology engineers provide us with our demands. Hence, we see our technology, more specifically in Cell-Phones and Computers, becoming smaller.

The scientists from GE Global Research are now performing tests on a turbine that is approximately the size of a desk. But more interesting, is this mini-turbine has the capabilities of powering a small town of up to 10,000 homes.

In the image below, Doug Hofer, who is one of the GE Engineers in charge of the project, poses with a model of the Mini-Turbine.

While typical turbines are generally driven by steam, resulting in a much larger scale, this specific turbine is actually driven by what the researchers call supercritical carbon dioxide. This is highly pressurized, not to mention extremely hot. This supercritical carbon dioxide (C02) is capable of reaching temperatures of up to 700 degrees Celsius. The C02 is incredibly hot and under so much pressure, it will form a supercritical fluid. This supercritical fluid in neither a liquid or even a gas, in fact, it is both.

Man Holding Min-Turbine

The new turbine that GE Global Researchers are working on, is projecting to be over 5% more efficient than that of the traditional steam turbines, in the attempts of converting heat into electricity. What is even more promising, the team’s GE prototype is only 10 megawatts. However, the team is aiming to scale the prototype up to a grand total of 33 megawatts.

Sources: Minds, Google, GE Global Research.


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17 COMMENTS

  1. In Romania an inginier , Gheorghe Bordeianu, invented an engine for cars fuled by water. It burns the hidrogen and exoust the oxigen. with 3L of water you can drive 5000km. But nobody wants his invention

  2. He’ll probably be O.K. because he works for G.E. If his invention works too well they’ll just shelve it and reassign him to another department.

  3. This seems like a hell of a project hope all goes well and he doesn’t magically end up dead. Hint Hint(FBI)

    • No no, the CO2 still needs to heated and pressurised. The differnce is that the CO2 operates at a different point, and is more efficient. Not sure what the cost f extracting th CO2 is though, water is everywhere, although it does need purification before it can be used. So I guess the CO2 method may be a bit more expensive to purify for this application.

  4. why all these stupid comments? this is a general electric venture and if you do not know who is that no doctor can help you. looking closer to the pilot product it will be 10s of times bigger for feeding an entire block and it does only 5% better then a steam based turbine….so what is the buzz about it in the first place? ANYTHING scaling up into industrial ventures will be screwed by the capital of speculation, ruled by their buddies, the politicians, and sucked to death by the consumer finance systems. and you know why is all the way it is? because there are no helpers and private funding for experimental science projects and even guys like some here are only here to spit blindly without moving a single finger. there are thousands of talented guys around needing your help, and what do you do???? so move everybody. not everybody can be a Tesla, but everybody can be a Robin Hood from the good ones!

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