A radical Turbine Range Extender (TREx) for electric vehicles
TREx engine is used in electric vehicles (EVs) to eliminate range concern. It charges batteries on the run when necessary. Compared with conventional engine driven vehicles, EVs with TREx consume much less fuel. Compared with piston engine range extenders, TREx is considerably superior in low emissions. For example, it can cut CO2 by 60% and NOx by 85% or more.
TREx has features in its radical design and advanced air bearings. The radical design enables the engine to be contained in a space as small as a spare tyre. Air bearings improve the performance and life time of the engine.
A microgas turbine for long range and heavy duty multi-rotor drones
Most current long haul and heavy duty multi-rotor drones are powered by batteries. However, batteries only have approximately 1% energy density in unit weight of that of commonly used fuels, making long haul and heavy duty flights difficult. Microgas turbine generator is the best solution to the problem.
A variation of the TREx engine developed in our research centre is an ideal power source for this application. It has much higher power to weight ratio than a piston engine and higher energy density than batteries.TREx has features in its radical design and advanced air bearings.
Air bearing turbochargers
Advanced air bearings have been applied to turbochargers, which brings out several benefits, including fast response, no oil leakage, low kick in speed, and low emissions.
The high performance turbocharger reduces response time from 2 to 0.8 second
As air bearings reduce friction to nearly zero, these turbochargers tend to run at a much higher speed than before. Faster than usual rotating speed implies the potential for the compressor and turbine being scaled down, which in turn further increases the speed. Therefore, an air bearing supported turbocharger needs to be redesigned to fit the compressor maps required by the engine. The centre has successfully downsized turbocharger compressors by 15% in diameter and the new compressor still covers the compressor map.