Research centre for Global Research of General Electric company has just announced the development of a prototype turbine that can convert carbon dioxide into electricity. Although turbine size is not more than the Desk, the developers claim that it can provide electricity to the city with 10 thousand houses.
This sounds promising, given that this innovation can be used to simultaneously solve two major problems of the modern world — pollution of the planet with carbon dioxide and the energy crisis.
Turbine specialist at GE Doug Hofer, which is developing the new turbine, says in a press release: "the World is looking for environmentally safe and effective methods of electricity production. The concept that we used in this car helps to solve both problems."
Unlike conventional turbines that convert the thermal energy of the compressed steam into mechanical energy, turbine GE uses carbon dioxide in a supercritical fluid. The use of such a working environment gives turbine some truly remarkable properties. The state of the supercritical fluid is an intermediate state between gas and liquid, which is achieved due to the incredibly high temperatures and/or pressure acting on the substance. In the state of supercritical fluid a substance at a time can pass through solid materials like a gas and dissolve materials like liquid.
According to GE, these exceptional properties of supercritical fluids significantly increase the efficiency of the new turbines compared to steam turbines, along with such important advantage of small dimensions (of the steam turbine, typically about 10 times more). In addition, carbon dioxide is able to absorb, store and release heat much faster than water, which further increases the efficiency of the turbine.
Worth a close look how the turbine works on carbon dioxide. First, heat from sunlight accumulates in the molten salt, which is then used to heat the dry ice to superheated condition and to generate carbon dioxide. In this process, the gas goes into a state of supercritical fluid and can be used to operate the turbine which, in turn, can produce sufficient to light 10 million homes amount of power.
Thus, it is a great way to reduce the harmful effects of carbon dioxide, which otherwise would fall into the atmosphere. According to experts of GE, the turbine can improve the efficiency of installations for solar energy and conventional gas turbine power stations. They calculated that if a new technology to integrate solar power, up to 68 percent of the stored energy can be transferred back to the mains. And most importantly, this technology will ensure the development of "green" energy and will help to solve the environmental problems that plague our planet.
Hofer argues: "Given that demand for electricity will grow by 50 percent over the next two decades, we have no time to wait for new, cleaner sources of energy for the entire planet. We need to introduce a novelty now to receive energy efficient way."published
P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©
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