I have been reading the PhD dissertation of Vaclav Dostal for information and inspiration, and I came across a graphic which shows the difference between the bulk of a steam turbine system, a helium turbine (proposed for high-temperature nuclear reactors) and a CO2
turbine system (a cheaper alternative to the helium turbine). Here it is:
In raw numbers, the CO2
power turbine is 0.6 meters radius (about 4 feet diameter) and 55 centimeters (less than 2 feet) long. The compressors would be even smaller. Yet this small bundle of turbomachinery, which would easily fit in a couple of pickup trucks, could crank out 450 megawatts.
Using the supercritical CO2
recompression cycle, the turbomachinery for a gigawatt powerplant could fit in your bedroom. Think about that for a minute.
Small is not just beautiful. Small is also cheaper, easier to build and quicker to install. In the necessary repowering of the energy systems of the USA and the world, small, beautiful, efficient, elegant
systems like this need to be pushed to center stage.
Labels: CO2 turbine, nuclear power