At the heart of iQuadgen® is a highly optimised turbo expander that is 85% electrically efficient. By contrast, the next most efficient turbine currently in operation is the combined cycle gas turbine that operates at 55% electrical efficiency.
- The Turbo Expander is positioned in bypass to the Joules-Thompson valve conventionally used to expand the gas.
- In areas where the cold from the gas expansion process cannot be commercially utilised, necessary pre-heat is provided by either a sustainable bio-fuel engine or fuel cells, which also generate significant electricity and excess heat for use in district heating.
- In hot climates where cold is valuable, a heat exchange process allows ʻsinkingʼ of heat into the gas downstream of the expansion process. Applications for use of the cold include district cooling, provision of cold (as well as electricity) to IT data centers and use of iQuadgen® in combination with Concentrated Solar Power Plants. In the latter, cooling the steam cycle is a major challenge and a hybrid CSP/iQuadgen® plant delivers twice the power at half the cost of a conventional standalone CSP.
- Initial iQuadgen® plants have the potential to deliver from 15 to 75 MW of electricity together with substantial additional heat and cold. Under the UK regulatory regime, the bio-fuel engine version of iQuadgen® qualifies for 2 ROCs.
- 2OC estimate that there are around 50,000 pressure reduction stations worldwide where the iQuadgen® technology can be applied. This offers the potential for many Gigawatts of power capacity in the long term.
Thus the iQuadgen® system has the potential to to make a significant contribution to total low emission power generation alongside solar, wind and other sources of clean energy.
The first iQuadgen® application is a super efficient, three phased combined heat and power plant named CHiP with a potential overall efficiency of 90%. The heat source is provided by either a bio-engine or a fuel cell.
This innovative hybrid plant design would reduce the development cost for a typical CSP plant from $17.5 million per MW to $5.4 million per MW at today’s prices.