This “Mini Turbine” Can Power A Small Town

Computers and cell phones are a prime example of things getting smaller.

So what GE Global Research is now testing, is a turbine (about the size of a desk) which can power approximately 10000 homes.

Doug Hofer, a GE engineer in charge of the project, shows a model of the tiny turbine below.

So, when you think of it, most turbines are driven by steam thus making the need for them much bigger. This thing however, gets its juice from something called “supercritical carbon dioxide” meaning a highly pressurized and extremely hot (~700 degrees) liquid. Meaning that it’s literally so hot that it forms something called a supercritical fluid – neither liquid nor gas.

It’s projected to be over 5% more efficient than steam turbines when it begs to question to convert heat in electricity. The beautiful thing here is that, currently, the prototype is 10 megawatts, but GE wants it to be 33.

“The key thing will come down to economics”

Original article here.

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