In the course of our technological history, we have seen our devices start off as a huge (and frequently heavy) items. Nevertheless, as the demand for more power in compact gadgets grows, the technology engineers work tirelessly to give us what we need. For this reason, we see our technology, more specifically in Cell-Phones and Computers, becoming increasingly smaller.
The scientists from GE Global Research are now carrying out tests on a turbine that is approximately the size of a desk. But more fascinating, is this mini-turbine has the abilities of powering a town of approximately 10,000 houses.
In the image listed below, Doug Hofer, who is among the GE Engineers in charge of the job, postures with a design of the Mini-Turbine.
While most turbines are generally driven by steam, resulting in a much larger scale, this particular turbine is in fact driven by what the researchers call supercritical carbon dioxide. This is extremely pressurized, not to mention exceptionally hot. This supercritical co2 (C02) is capable of reaching temperatures of as much as 700 degrees Celsius. The C02 is extremely hot and under so much pressure, it will form a supercritical fluid. This supercritical fluid in neither a liquid or even a gas, in fact, it is both.
The new turbine that GE Global Scientist are working on, is projecting to be over 5% more efficient than that of the traditional steam turbines, in the attempts of transforming heat into electrical energy. Exactly what is a lot more promising, the group's GE prototype is only 10 megawatts. Nevertheless, the team is intending to scale the prototype up to an overall output of 33 megawatts.
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