Very few people know that gas turbines engines, aircraft or natural gas generation systems, large or small, consume a high percentage of the energy they produce, namely between 35% and 65%, to simply sustain their operating cycle.
That means between 35% (for the very largest and most modern turbines) and 65% (for the smaller, older engines) of the fuel that is burned, is NOT actually used to make electricity but rather, to compress the air at the front of the engine needed to make the power cycle work.
By augmenting existing natural gas generation systems with ‘off-site’ produced compressed air (CA), such as from locally installed/paired Shuttle Foils Translating Wing systems, producing (ultra low cost) compressed air, it becomes possible for existing, already in operation natural gas generation turbines, to have their GHG emissions dramatically reduced – some, by as much as 65%.
Such ‘paired’ or ‘hybrid’ natural gas/CA augmented systems would be a quantum leap ahead in the reduction of GHG emissions from existing natural gas generation installations.
As more Shuttle Foil CA producing systems are ‘paired’ to individual NG turbine generation facilities, the use of natural gas could drop to as low as only 1% , this, by simply using more CA made by paired SF systems. While lower overall efficiency would be inherent in such a 99% CA power production mode, it would allow for a long proven, highly reliable, generation means to remain part of the grid as a backup means. (BTW, the 1% gas burned would likely be necessary to simply keep the engine warm enough to ensure proper operation e turbine to keep it from operating too cool)
Such a ‘hybrid’ natural gas/augmented-with-off-site-produced-clean-source-CA-system would create a 100% reliable, ultra low emission generation system, one which would be able to revert to current ‘natural gas only’ operation, at any moment, should off-site supplied CA diminish or become insufficient for augmented operations.
Point-of-fact: For over 35 years, the Germans have operated a similar process at their Huntorf, Germany generation plant. There is a similar system operating at MacIntosh, Alabama.
What both these existing plants need to become more cost effective, are lower cost sources of CA.
Currently, surplus grid electricity is used during off peak hours to compress and store the CA.
Note: BBC, the forerunner of ABB, built the Huntorf, Germany plant.
More information on the Huntorf, Germany plant and its operation can be found at:
More on MacIntosh, Alabama ‘stored Wind’ site at the link below:
There are other benefits to ‘mating’ or ‘pairing’ Translating Wing/Shuttle Foil systems to existing natural gas generation systems; TW/SF systems can also produce ultra low cost Hydrogen; a 100% clean fuel, even when burned.
Point-of-fact: turbine engines can burn just about any liquid or gaseous fuel (which leaves little or no residue), hence, hydrogen is not only a potent acceptable fuel, it is in fact an ideal fuel – as its burn residue makes only pure, drinkable water.
By adapting existing natural gas generation turbines to accept both ‘off-site’ produced clean source, compressed air as well as off-site produced, clean source, hydrogen as a replacement heat source for currently used natural gas, it becomes possible to create a 100% clean hybrid generation system, one that can, if required, revert back to burning natural gas, and or make its own compressed air, automatically and transparently to the grid.
Such hybrid clean source augment systems assure total grid stability and allows from a transition from 100% fossil fuel burning generation, to 100% renewable source generation process – using the same, already paid for, generation infrastructure and grid connections.
The above described process is already long since in operation today and more up-to-date versions can be applied to just about any already in-service natural gas turbine generation system worldwide.
Why the above described process should be of great interest to all current California electricity suppliers; In early October, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law requiring that 50% of California’s electricity come from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and hydro, by the year 2030. The above indicated CA producing Shuttle Foil hybrid generation systems will help California achieve this goal and more.
The video below is a ‘primer’ on the basic operation of a turbine engine. All turbines, generation or aircraft, work in the same fashion.
The video has some momentary stops gaps, just give it a second and it will continue.
At the beginning of the video, it shows how air is drawn into the engine and then compressed to allow the engine to operate. The engine air inlet can be easily ‘shuttered’ to stop air entering the compressor section. At the same time, ‘off-site’, clean source produced compressed air, is introduced directly into the engine at the front of the burner section. While the compressor blades will continue to turn, as long as they are not moving/compressing air, they do NOT consume energy, i.e. they freewheel so to say.
Later in the video, it shows the introduction of fuel, as mentioned above, any low/zero residue fuel can be burned in a turbine engine as its sole function is to heat/expand the compressed air in the burner section. The ideal replacement fuel is clean source Hydrogen.