The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded Creare LLC with funding for two projects related to advanced energy generation systems. The awards were part of DOE’s $36M High Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes (HITEMMP) and OPEN+ High Temperature Devices programs. These projects seek to develop new approaches and technologies for the design and manufacture of high performance energy systems and components. Creare has considerable experience in the development of innovative power systems.
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation hailed the award announcements as critical investments that will boost energy efficiency and support the sustainability of our environment and economy.
Microturbine Generator for Residential and Commercial Buildings
Creare, in partnership with IMBY Energy, is developing a mass-manufacturable, closed-loop, Brayton-cycle microturbine to provide 5 kW electrical power for residential and commercial buildings. The $3M project is entitled “Closed-Loop 5-kWe Brayton-Cycle Microturbine with 38% Efficiency: Advanced Generator Technology Designed for Inexpensive Mass Production”. The waste heat from the device can be harvested for residential heating. The proposed technology can potentially convert a variety of fuels to electricity more efficiently than incumbent technologies and targets a product cost of $800/kW electrical power and a 20-year lifetime. If successful, Creare’s system would reduce residential primary energy consumption, enhance alternative fuel use, improve electric grid operation, and stimulate domestic manufacturing.
Micro Tube Recuperator for Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles
International Mezzo Technologies (Mezzo) will design, manufacture, and test a compact, nickel-based superalloy supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) recuperator. The $1.64M award is for the project “Supercritical CO2 Micro Tube Recuperator: Manufacturing, Testing and Laser Weld Qualification.” Creare will contribute to the Mezzo-led effort by providing engineering analyses and design support. The recuperator will incorporate laser-welded micro tubes and function at 800°C (1,472°F) and 275 bar (3,989 psi). Currently, the cost of recuperators of power systems operating in these conditions is prohibitive. Laser welding micro tubes offers a low-cost approach to fabricating heat exchangers, which will increase the economic competitiveness of sCO2 power cycles.