Research activities in the field of power plant concepts are focused on the development, design and optimisation of low-emission, fuel-flexible and highly efficient power plant concepts based on MGTs. Both conventional and innovative power plant concepts are considered.
The areas of application are the fields of energy, transport and aviation with electrical output ranging from one kilowatt to several hundred kilowatts.
In the field of energy supply in particular, plants for decentralised power and heat supply (cogeneration, CHP) for buildings (houses/apartments), businesses, commercial premises, services and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being developed. The advantage of small, decentralised CHP units compared to large power plants is that, as energy production is on-site, it entails no major transportation and conversion losses, and the end consumer is provided with heat in addition to electricity. Due to the overall higher level of efficiency of the plant concept – where over 90 percent of the fuel is used – the process is more efficient, economical and environment friendly.
The focus of current research, based on conventional pressure-charged microturbines includes:
and other innovative concepts, such as
At present, the focus of work for the transport sector is on numerical dimensioning and component analysis of an MGT-based range extender for use in the automotive industry with an electrical power output of 15–40 kilowatts.
Since 2014, a new field of interest is the energy production using APUs (-> APU) on board short-haul aircraft.