IHI Unveils Compact Gas Turbine Generator Unit

Feb 18, 2012
Atsushi Takano, Nikkei Monozukuri
The compact gas turbine generator unit
The compact gas turbine generator unit
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The palm-size gas turbine generator
The palm-size gas turbine generator
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

IHI Corp developed a compact gas turbine generator unit and succeeded in using it to autonomously generate electricity.

This is the first time in the world that a portable gas turbine generator has been used to autonomously generate electricity, the company said.

The gas turbine generator used for the unit is approximately 80mm in diameter and 120mm in length. It can be started up and stopped by operating buttons. Rated power generation starts about 30 seconds after the starting operation. And it completely stops about two minutes and 30 seconds after the stopping operation. Its exhaust gas temperature is 70°C.

This time, IHI used propane gas as a fuel. But the company confirmed that the gas turbine generator unit supports a variety of fuels such as kerosene and light oil.

Since 2007, IHI has been engaged in the research and development of portable gas turbine generators based on its ultrahigh-speed rotating machinery technology developed for its jet engine and turbocharger businesses.

By taking advantage of the light weight and high output power of a compact gas turbine, it might be possible to realize a power density (maximum output per unit mass) and energy density (continuous operation time per unit mass) that are much higher than those of reciprocating engines and fuel cells, IHI said. The company expects that the gas turbine generator unit will be used as a charger for personal devices such as mobile devices as well as a power source for a robot.

For the future, IHI plans not only to further reduce the size and weight of the unit and increase the output power but to develop technologies to comply with specifications required for various applications.