Scuderi Group to build and to install LPG-powered split-cycle generator with compressed air storage capability
|Scuderi split-cycle engine in power generator/CAES application. Click to enlarge.|
Scuderi Group, Inc., the developer of the Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine for mobile applications (earlier post) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asociación de Miembros de la Policia de Puerto Rico for the first Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine to be utilized as a stationary liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) generator with compressed air energy storage (CAES) capability.
The signing of the agreement begins the process of building and installing the first LPG-powered Scuderi power generator and energy storage systems. According to the agreement, Scuderi Group will build and install the power generation units at the Association’s San Juan headquarters and adjoining elderly care facility and at other locations around the island include buildings in Trujillo Alto, Ponce, and Maunabo.
Scuderi Group will design and build four liquid propane gas-powered generators with CAES capability that will be sized and optimized according to each building’s requirements. Scuderi anticipates that the first engine will be up and running in approximately 18 months.
The Scuderi split-cycle design divides the four strokes of the conventional combustion cycle over two paired cylinders: one intake/compression cylinder and one power/exhaust cylinder, connected by a crossover port. An air-hybrid configuration of the engine for vehicles envisions adding a compressed air storage tank to the engine. (Earlier post.) This configuration was originally intended as a way to store recovered braking energy as compressed air to support a range of driving modes and optimize vehicle efficiency.
The generator application essentially extends the size of the compressed air tank. In the generator/CAES application, the compressed air storage can scale to the proper size to meet customer needs, said Bill Wrinn, Director, Marketing/Communications, Scuderi Group. Wrinn said that Scuderi’s CAES storage tanks will be about 18 times smaller than the conventional air tanks currently on the market.
By utilizing the ability to store compressed air energy, the Scuderi engine can capture energy from multiple sources, such as the grid during off-peak hours when the cost is very low, or from alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. The Scuderi engine, acting as a back-up generator when the grid goes down, can also produce electricity. Because of all of these features, a power generation system can be designed to take advantage of various power sources to provide reliable, low-cost and clean energy to a host site.
Efficiency of the system will range between 45-70% depending on the mode and type of system, Wrinn added. For example, when engaging the air tanks, efficiency gets very high; when operating strictly from the engine, efficiency is lower.
[This] marks an expansion of our market strategy. An internal combustion engine can be used not only for mobile applications (cars) but for stationary power generators as well. Our development has reached a point where we can now start building generators with the compressed air energy storage capability. We are still fully engaged in the engine development/mobile applications markets (cars, trucks, marine, etc.). This just marks the beginning of being able to enter this particular market. We have a huge opportunity in front of us and we’re trying to take advantage of it.—Bill Wrinn
The Scuderi engine can run off of multiple fuels such as natural gas, liquid propane, diesel or bio-fuels. Scuderi injects the LPG directly into the cylinder prior to the air, Wrinn noted, enabling more power density. The LPG also acts as a coolant.
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