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High efficiency Brayton cycles using LNG

United States Patent

April 18, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A modified, closed-loop Brayton cycle power conversion system that uses liquefied natural gas as the cold heat sink media. When combined with a helium gas cooled nuclear reactor, achievable efficiency can approach 68 76% (as compared to 35% for conventional steam cycle power cooled by air or water). A superheater heat exchanger can be used to exchange heat from a side-stream of hot helium gas split-off from the primary helium coolant loop to post-heat vaporized natural gas exiting from low and high-pressure coolers. The superheater raises the exit temperature of the natural gas to close to room temperature, which makes the gas more attractive to sell on the open market. An additional benefit is significantly reduced costs of a LNG revaporization plant, since the nuclear reactor provides the heat for vaporization instead of burning a portion of the LNG to provide the heat.
Morrow; Charles W. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
10/ 965,577
October 14, 2004
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.