Bladeless Turbine May Assist Use of Geothermal Energy

A bladeless propulsion turbine may be developed by a company in Hawaii.

SALEM, Utah, US, 2001-12-05 [] International Automated Systems, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to license its bladeless turbine to The Hydrogen Renewable Energy Enterprise, a Hawaiian-based firm that develops projects to convert renewable energy into electricity. According to THREE president Jack Dean, the IAS turbine could have an enormous effect on the renewable energy production. “Whenever energy conversion efficiency increases, there is a positive environmental impact,” he says. “In this case, when the increased efficiency is on the order of magnitude that may be possible with this new IAS turbine, that positive impact becomes significant and impossible to overlook.” “In Hawaii, we must always consider the most efficient use of our land,” he adds. “Because of this, we focus on evaluating technologies that increase the conversion efficiency of energy-to-power to best meet the electrical needs of the islands.” A prototype of the turbine has been tested at a geothermal facility in Utah. The unit does not use expensive blades that require maintenance, and officials claim the Propulsion Turbine can generate energy at a lower cost than is possible with traditional geothermal turbines. Under the agreement, IAS will provide turbine/generator packages for projects developed by THREE which, in turn, will have exclusive rights to acquire the IAS package for applications in Hawaii, including geothermal and solar. THREE will pay a fee to IAS for 20 years that is based the total power sold. The turbine uses a jet nozzle to channel hot water from a well directly onto the output shaft. IAS estimates the cost of building its turbine for a geothermal plant to be a fraction of the cost of manufacturing a traditional turbine. The company views its unit as a complement to existing geothermal or other power facilities as a way to produce additional energy at lower cost.

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