Marsh Creek will demonstrate a method of improving fuel efficiency of a diesel-electric generator set by allowing the diesel engine to operate at significantly lower rotational speed when power demand decreases. A permanent magnet coupling developed by the parter company, Flux Drive Inc., will be used for implementing controlled coupling between the diesel engine and electric generator which will allow maintaining fixed rotational speed of the electric generator at various diesel engine rotational speeds.
Marsh Creek will identify and develop an optimal configuration of diesel-generator coupling arrangement utilizing elements of Flux Drive technology and complete a preliminary commercial plan. Marsh Creek will also develop a control system for automatic diesel engine speed control and conduct hybrid plant modeling. After designing and constructing a system prototype and a SCADA system, the unit will be sent to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks ACEP test facility for confirmation of test results. A field demonstration site will be agreed upon by Marsh Creek and AEA, and after installation a month-long demonstration will be performed. After the conclusion of the project demonstration a system performance and projected costs and capital report will be published by Marsh Creek.
This coupling technology allows the engine to run at a constant speed while still being able to vary the speed of the load. This will allow for better efficiency of the engine while still being able to produce a range out power outputs. The coupling produced by Flux Drive Inc. is designed to reduce engine noise, vibration, life cycle costs, and has been enhanced to allow operation in harsh environments.
Administration of Funds
The Alaska Energy Authority has been placed in charge of administration for the Emerging Energy Technology Fund projects. More information can be found on their website here