A South Australian company is developing a micro gas turbine that works with renewable sources to take households off the electricity grid.
ecoJet’s 1kW ultra micro gas turbine was named best innovation at this year’s Land Forces event in Adelaide.
South Australian company ecoJet Engineering has developed a lightweight, portable 20kW micro gas turbine with funds from the Royal Australian Air Force and the South Australian Government. The project aims to replace diesel generators typically used to provide electricity to units in the field.
The prototype unit is only about 10 per cent of the weight of a typical internal combustion diesel generator and can be configured to run on a range of liquid and gaseous fuels including propane, natural gas and diesel. It was demonstrated in a series of sessions with senior Defence personnel in the Australian capital Canberra on Wednesday.
ecoJet plans to use its technology to develop a commercial product for households and industry to complement existing technologies such as solar panels and battery storage.
Co-director Alexander Wright said early customers would likely be a combination of domestic housing and defence.
“A military product is a commercial product with a bunch of extra stuff on top so we can easily tweak it to suit both markets because we are very much looking to break into both areas,” he said.
A render of ecoJet’s 20kW micro gas turbine.
Wright said a household unit would be smaller — around the 10kW size — and would likely be fuelled by the home’s existing natural gas supply.
“Part of that is to capitalise on the current environment — we’ve got high energy prices and a lot of ageing infrastructure in terms of the power lines and the reliability of the grid particularly in South Australia so we’re looking to tap into that market and the need to find an alternative,” Wright said.
“If a particular industry application had peaks of high demand that the existing solar infrastructure wasn’t able to meet then you could use this capability to meet those peaks and troughs. Alternatively you could use it in a housing set up to supplement a small solar system with…