By: Susan Stewart

TechConnect Innovation Tracking: Brayton Energy, a TechConnect Accelerator participant-ARPA Energy Innovation Summit, Washington D.C., 2012

The efficiency and economics of small gas turbine engines is improved through the use of high temperature ceramics and compact recuperators; a specialized heat exchanger.  With these technology steps, small gas turbine engines are competitive in a number of new applications, including vehicles and distributed power generation. 

Mr. Jim Kesseli, President of Brayton Energy, told TechConnect News that the company continues R&D in distributed generation and plans to have a demo unit in the field by June of 2013.  This 350 kWe intercooler recuperated gas turbine incorporates a ceramic turbine rotor and other ceramic hot section parts, and is expected to achieve an efficiency in the mid-40’s.  Fully exploiting the capability of ceramics, the engine’s shaft efficiency can approach 60%. 

Brayton Energy also received a US Department of Energy Sun Shot Award in July of this year.  This project and others at Brayton focus on the supercritical CO2 cycle.  This under-researched gas turbine cycle uses CO2 as the working fluid, showing great potential for renewable energy applications, including concentrating solar power and biomass-to-electric conversion systems. 

Visit http://www.braytonenergy.com to learn more about the company.