The isoengine: realisation of a high-efficiency power cycle based on isothermal compression
A novel high-efficiency internal combustion engine for power generation and direct-drive applications is being developed. Distillate-fuelled power plants in units of 7 MW electrical output are predicted to reach a net electrical efficiency of 60%. An efficiency of 58% is targeted for the gas-fired version. This compares with a net electrical efficiency of about 45% for advanced reciprocating engines of similar output but conventional design, and represents a step change in the efficiency of distributed power plant. Besides distillate oil and natural gas, the engine will be able to use suitable biofuels for efficient power generation. A 3 MW prototype engine using the full-scale engine geometry has been built to confirm the performance of the isoengine cycle. A partnership agreement has been signed by RWE Innogy and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding for the future testing and development of the engine.
Keywords: reciprocating internal combustion engine, isothermal compression, high efficiency, distributed generation, CHP, combined heat and power, recuperator, compressed air energy storage, high-temperature fuel cells, power generation, direct-drive, distillate oil, natural gas, biofuels, isoengine