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Development of a 125KW AMB Expander/Generator for Waste Heat Recovery

[+] Author Affiliations
Lawrence A. Hawkins, Lei Zhu, Eric J. Blumber

Calnetix Inc., Cerritos, CA

Paper No. GT2010-22763, pp. 187-194; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 6: Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Glasgow, UK, June 14–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4401-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3872-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Development and field testing of a low cost expander/generator system that incorporates a high performance, high-speed permanent magnet generator and low loss magnetic bearings is described. The expander/generator is part of a waste heat recovery system based on the Organic Rankine Cycle. The waste heat system can recover energy from a wide variety of heat sources including: landfill gas, reciprocating engine exhaust, solar, geothermal, boilers, and other industrial processes. The varying frequency voltage supplied by the generator is connected to the grid using an active/active power electronics package that can deliver power at 400–480 VAC (50 or 60 Hz). Active magnetic bearings (AMB) were chosen for the application because they can operate directly in the working fluid, have low losses, and provide high reliability and remote monitoring capabilities. The expander operates between 20,000 and 26,500 rpm depending on the energy available from the heat source. The first field unit was installed in April, 2009 at a biogas site. The system design, test results, and magnetic bearing operating experience are discussed.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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