Cyclone Power Technologies has achieved positive results from performance tests recently conducted on its Waste Heat Engine (WHE) (earlier post), and expects the final stage of testing prior to on-site beta installation to begin in July.
The WHE is a self-starting steam engine capable of producing up to 18 hp (10 kW of electricity) from low to medium-temperature waste heat sources. Cyclone is targeting WHE systems for applications such as small-scale cogeneration, solar thermal electricity production, biomass combustion, and engines for auxiliary power units for trucks and RVs.
The WHE is derivative of Cyclone’s external combustion Green Revolution Engine. (Earlier post.) Unlike its more powerful counterpart, the WHE operates in a low-pressure, low-temperature range using waste heat as low as 225 °F (107 °C) and pressure as low as 25 psi (172 kPa). By contrast, the GRE employs super-critical pressure (3,200 psi, 22 MPa) and super-heated steam (1,200 °F, 649 °C).
The tests involved running the WHE on heat generated from a simulated industrial furnace. The company recently modified certain design elements and materials of the WHE in an effort to reduce heat conductivity losses and engine wear. The company also improved the design of the heat exchanger to generate higher steam temperatures and pressures.
The net results of these improvements, as demonstrated by the performance testing, is expected to be an engine that operates at a broader range of temperatures, achieves higher overall efficiencies and has greater lifetime durability.