Renewable Engergy

Concepts NREC's history in aerospace dates back to the 1950's, when Northern Research and Engineering Corporation (NREC) designed and built a miniature high-speed pump for the Instrumentation Lab at MIT to be used on guidance systems for missiles and spacecraft.  We also developed compact heat-exchanger software for the Apollo space program and, subsequently, for the space shuttle. NREC also helped develop environmental cooling and heating control systems for the F-108 fighter and the B-70 bomber.

We have continued to develop our expertise in the field, and now we have designed and manufactured a rocket pump for a space launch.  The pump was manufactured using advanced additive manufacturing (3D printing) techniques for lower costs and fast development and delivery.

Concepts NREC is also very proud to provide state-of-the-art turbopumps to support United Launch Alliance (ULA)'s next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket.

Advanced Solutions for Renewable Energy

At Concepts NREC we have the experience and the expertise to be your total turbomachinery resource. 

Turbine Generator Systems for Heat Recovery

Concepts NREC has over 35 years of experience designing, building and testing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems. We can provide you with the optimal turbine generator for your heat recovery power application, including:

  • Solar Thermal
  • Geothermal
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)
  • Waste Heat from Engines and Industrial Processes

For projects under 1 Megawatt (MW), we offer design plans and manufacturing details for the CN300, a commercially proven turbine generator unit engineered to minimize footprint and maintenance for ultra-low life-cycle costs. Please contact info@conceptsnrec.com for more information on licensing.

For projects over 1 MW, we can create a custom solution designed specifically for your application. We also offer engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to complete the balance of plant for those seeking a turnkey system.

Wind Turbines and Compressors for Low Flow

Several radically different and highly efficient axial and radial impeller designs are now emerging that will effectively accommodate urban and onsite installations. To be viable, these small wind turbines will require much less wind for start-up (as low as 5 mph) and for optimum levels of efficiency.

Wind-turbine turbomachinery is also being further refined to reduce the environmental impacts of noise and bird kills. New bird-safe blade shapes are especially needed for offshore regions within migratory flight paths. In another wind-power cycle, a wind turbine is used to drive a compressor. The stored compressed air is available to drive a turbine generator (or some other application) at times when needed.

Solar Turbines

Newer and better solar technologies using concentrated solar heat (at 400°F and considerably higher) to drive a steam or gas turbine are promising to more effectively, efficiently, and practically utilize solar energy for electrical generation or to power some other thermal application such as an absorption chiller. The overlying turbomachinery challenge in all solar technologies and applications is to further advance turbine and pump efficiency in an effort to reduce their $/Watt installed cost.

Hydroelectric Turbines

There is also enormous potential for new hydroelectric designs that can provide continuous and predictable power from various low-head, low-power water flows – without the need for dams – that may also vary dramatically by location or season. With an energy density 850 times greater than wind, even slow flowing waters can be an effective energy resource for a highly efficient hydrokinetic turbine.

These same turbo-green technologies are also planned to operate effectively in the low flows of underground streams and falling water. The underwater streams of ocean estuaries are an especially reliable energy resource for driving a hydrokinetic turbine.

Tidal-Current and Wave-Compressor Turbines

One promising technology is a tidal-current turbine designed to harness energy from various marine currents. The unique Golay vertical-axis tidal-current turbine uses hydrofoil blades placed helically around an axis to operate bidirectionally as tides go in and out. An underwater tidal turbine farm would operate much like an offshore wind farm except for the added complexities involved in a relatively harsher underwater environment.

Another solution uses an oscillating water column (OWC) to capture and convert ocean-wave energy into compressed air to drive an air-turbine generator. The core technology incorporates a patented high-efficiency, variable-pitch turbine in which an electromechanical blade-pitch control enables rotation in the same direction irrespective of the bidirectional airflow of the OWC system.

Geothermal Pumps and Turbines

To obtain meaningful improvements, these turbomachinery systems require more efficient pumps and turbines. One such gravity head energy system (GHES) uses a compact and highly efficient turbo-expander pump installed deep within the wellbore. This highly advanced turbo-green design significantly increases the overall cycle efficiency by at least 20% and up to 30%.

Biomass Steam Turbines

Steam turbines have long been a natural green energy choice for onsite CHP plants with access to a nearby supply of low-cost biomass fuel. On a utility scale, many operators are now converting coal plants to operate on much cleaner biomass wood chips. Advanced capabilities in turbomachinery design will now allow even higher efficiencies, cleaner emissions, and reduced expenses.  

Energy Storage

The rapidly advancing development and acceptance of green energy technologies for both distributed generation and to supply the smart grid demand that renewable energy be paired with energy storage. With the exception of battery systems, all other storage methods depend on the efficiency of various turbomachines for pumping fluids and compressing gases.

Of recent interest is a new generation of flywheels using multiton carbon-fiber rotors spinning on magnetic bearings in a vacuum. Each flywheel is expected to store up to several megawatts of backup power for buffering power fluctuations from intermittent energy sources (wind and solar) or to stabilize power for changing loads. In one system, a motor powered by green energy accelerates a flywheel to terminal speed, and then the rotor maintains its inertial energy “indefinitely” until released by reversing the process and using the motor as a generator.

Concepts NREC is also actively involved in designing compressed air energy storage (CAES), and liquefied compressed air energy storage (LAES), also sometimes referred to as cryogenic energy storage (CES). These two approaches to energy storage can be used for larger scale and longer duration energy storage applications. Concepts NREC has extensive experience in the design and fabrication of both compressors and turbines (expanders) for these types of energy storage systems. As an example, Concepts NREC designed and fabricated a 300 kW prototype energy recovery turbine for a client developing a LAES demonstration plant.  

Renewable_Energies

A Field of Wind Turbines

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sCO2 Poster

Supercritical CO2 Resources

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO2) Brayton Cycle energy conversion systems have the potential to provide the world with cleaner and more affordable power. Concepts NREC, as the experts, works with clients to design and analyze the types of turbomachinery required for an efficient sCO2 system.

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Technical Papers

Development of A Meanline Model for Preliminary Design Of Recirculating Casing Treatment In Turbocharger Compressors
Presented At: ASME Turbo Expo 2018

A Novel Non-Radial Turbocharger Turbine Created Using Numerical Optimisation
Presented At: National Laboratory of Engine Turbocharging Technology of China 2016


Designing Turbochargers with an Integrated Design System
Presented At: ASME Turbo Expo 2013

Turbocharging the Internal Combustion Engine - (Presentation Slides) 
Presented At: ASME Turbo Expo 2013


Aero Design Challenges in Wide-Operability Turbocharger Centrifugal Compressors
Presented At: SAE World Congress 2012

Meanline Modeling of Ported Shroud Turbocharger Compressor
Presented At: ASME Turbo Expo 2012

Experimental and Computational Analysis of Impact of Self Recirculation Casing Treatment on Turbocharger Compressor
Presented At: SAE World Congress 2010


Modeling and Manufacturing of Turbocharger Compressors 
Presented At: SAE World Congress 2010


Radial and Mixed Flow Turbine Options for High Boost Turbochargers
Presented At: 7th International Conference on Turbochargers and Turbocharging

 

Case Studies

Transportation

Concepts NREC designs, manufactures and tests turbochargers and turbocharger components for diesel and gasoline engines as well as compressor and turbine stages for gas turbine engines. We can also provide auxiliary system components for engines including fuel, oil and water pumps.

Waste Heat Recovery

Concepts NREC has extensive experience in the field of waste heat recovery, including providing ORC turbines for exhaust heat recovery from diesel and gas turbine engines.

Air, Land, Water

We cover the full range of transportation industries, including passenger cars, trucks, F1 racing, off-road vehicles, marine craft of all sizes, and aircraft piston, turbojet and turbofan engines.

Case Studies

 

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Resources

Labyrinth seal_Axial Example
Axial Compressor Design Solution    

 

Labyrinth seal_Axial Example
Engineering Services   

 

Labyrinth seal_Axial Example
Manufacturing Services  

 

Labyrinth seal_Axial Example
Air Dynamometer

 

Concepts NREC Develops, Manufactures, and Sells its Own Products

In addition to contract manufacturing complete turbomachinery products for customers, Concepts NREC manufactures and sells specialized turbomachinery products that serve well-defined niche applications.

These products are jointly developed with customers who first establish a market need for a new or improved technology. Concepts NREC then supplies the development expertise to turn their specification into a successful product. However, rather than just providing services for a fee, development costs are shared, enabling Concepts NREC to establish additional applications and markets for the product and generate noncompetitive sales. The results allow development costs to be amortized over larger production quantities, and both companies further benefit by producing a better product at a lower cost.

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Proven Expertise

The full power and benefit of our turbomachinery design & manufacturing software suite is realized when the various modules are used together. The suite seamlessly transfers information between modules with the click of a button, saving time and eliminating the possibility of transfer errors. It also facilitates easy transfer at any step of the process to all major CAD formats and other third-party CFD and FEA packages.
 
Final designs can then be easily imported into our industry-leading CAM software, MAX-PAC, to create efficient 5-axis machining solutions.
 
Our integrated design and manufacturing software tools provide designers with a cost-effective, concurrent development approach that balances issues of performance, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and manufacturability.
 
 
 

Agile Products Support (APS)

APS is Concepts NREC’s software maintenance and support program that elevates us from just a software provider to a valued partner. 

An APS subscription is included with all annual licenses and is a highly-recommended option for perpetual software licenses. Every software customer is supported for one month following purchase for any installation questions that may arise. Learn more on the Agile Products Support Membership Benefits Datasheet

  • Free software updates
  • One business day response times
  • Expert technical assistance
  • Major discounts on software workshops
  • Discounted professional development course
  • Annual balloting system for development planning
  • Annual Meetings
 Turbomachinery Innovation Forum

Heat to Power

A focused look at two types of systems, sCO2 and ORC. Advantages and suitable applications and working conditions for each type of system were discussed and reviewed.

 
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