Broomfield, Colorado, August 17, 2010 – Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Frontline Aerospace and inventor Ryan S. Wood a patent titled: “Recuperator for Gas Turbine Engines.”
“The patent embodies the marriage of a high performance compact heat exchanger with the Rolls-Royce Model 250 gas turbine family,” said Wood. “The key novelties are in the ease of integration of a recuperator with the Rolls-Royce Model 250 family of turbines and the core physics advantages of small hydraulic diameter compact heat exchangers.
“These attributes result in a recuperator that is robustly applicable to the commercial helicopter and Unmanned Aerial System (drone) environments. Previous attempts at recuperation have suffered from big weight and volume penalties along with weak fuel savings and increased turbine complexity,” said Wood.
Lowering fuel use by improving gas turbine (Brayton cycle) efficiency via recuperation is an often overlooked efficiency strategy for gas turbines. “The 80+ year modern history of turbine development has seen a push for ever higher pressure ratios and ever hotter combustion temperatures, right up to the point where everything melts, as the preferred method of improving single cycle gas turbine efficiency,” said Wood. “Our strategy is simpler and cheaper.”
Frontline’s now-patented approach does not suffer the design and implementation challenges of high pressure ratios and bleeding edge material science. “In short, it’s just more practical and cost effective for turboshaft engines,” said Wood.
Frontline Aerospace, Inc. is an advanced manufacturing company based near Denver, CO focusing on breakthrough energy efficiency and aviation concepts.