“Low cost turboexpanders for decentralized energy applications – possibilities of 3D print manufacturing from modern plastic materials”

Project ID: 8E18B012
Funding provider: Ministry of Education
Investigator at UCEEB: Ing. Václav Novotný
Project duration: 1. 1. 2018 – 31. 12. 2022
Partner: Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden (University of Applied Sciences Amberg-Weiden), Kompetenzzentrum für Kraft-Wärme-Kopplung, Fakultät Maschinenbau/Umwelttechnik (Competence Center for CHP Systems, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering / Environmental Engineering).

The general objective of the project is to synergically connect and share knowledge and ideas of the project partners in research and development of distributed energy systems. The institutes will cooperate in research and scientific publications, jointly aiming for a larger international follow up project.

Given the Czech national priority fields of R&D the objectives can be also categorized as achieving new product properties and features using General Purpose Technologies (3D print as GPT), increase of effectivity, decrease of material and energy manufacturing requirements using GPT for micro turbo-expanders, reducing price and new possibilities for distributed power production, innovations in products for export and as a result also technology and products improving overall efficiency of primary resource utilization.

Particularly the objectives are following:

  • Modifying design of current small scale turboexpanders for 3D print from modern plastic materials. The design will specifically take into account possible application to experimental ORC and absorption power cycle units which exist or are under design and construction at partner’s institutes. Given the novelty of the approach the nominal expander output will be in range of hundreds watts to single kW.
  • Analysis and selection of suitable materials and manufacturing technique. Consideration of mechanical, thermal (expansion) and chemical (compatibility with working fluids of the cycles) properties of the materials. For the manufacturing technique will be considered quality and precision of the products as well as price.
  • Manufacturing of experimental functional sample.
  • Basic testing and analysis of expanders focusing on performance and material suitability.
  • Results dissemination.