SolarCAT Solar Compressed Air Turbine
Brayton’s “SolarCAT” (solar Compressed Air Turbine) was sponsored by Arizona Public Service, the US-DOE, and John Sperling of the Apollo Group. The integrated power module is composed of an intercooled, recuperated, reheat gas turbine mounted on a large parabolic dish. The system is integrated with compressed air energy storage enabling peak power of 200 kWe per dish. The demonstrator site was located at the University of Phoenix in Phoenix AZ.
The patented turbo-alternator power module uses air bearings and is totally oil and liquid-free. The hybrid system incorporates a hydrocarbon-fueled combustor, integrated with the solar receiver.
SolarCAT (Solar Compressed Air Turbine) is a major development project in the US DOE’s Solar America Initiative
- Excellent net solar-electric conversion efficiency >37%
- Superior part load efficiency
- Hybrid fuel capability
- Energy storage / dispatchability
- No liquid coolants or lubricants for exceptionally long service intervals
- Solar receiver tested at 23 bar pressure, 927 °C air outlet temp achieved >88% thermal efficiency