Monday, December 15, 2014


New Technology Could Tap into Waste Geothermal Heat (St. George Daily Spectrum)

A small operation that could be about to go big is perched above downtown St. George at a makeshift test site off Red Hills Parkway.

Helidyne, an energy company that started six years ago when two brothers started tinkering in a garage with a little-known technology, is in the process of testing its patented power generators in preparation for its first major sale — four units headed to offshore oil platforms for Mexico’s state-owned Pemex, where they could replace diesel units that require expensive shipments of fossil fuels.

The company’s patented “planetary rotor expander” sounds like something out of Star Trek, but the idea is a fundamentally simple one. The generator, built into a box about the size of an economy car, takes in high-pressure gas and funnels it through a system of specially-designed rotors to generate electricity. The gas is then sent back out at a lower pressure, meaning the generators can be installed via a simple bypass loop and feed the gas back into the supply line.

The technology could eventually be used in an assortment of applications, utilizing hot water from geothermal power plants, hydraulic pressure from oil wells or natural gas along supply lines in places like Southern Utah. Every place where pressure along those lines is reduced, there is wasted energy that could be harnessed, Kevin Kerlin said.

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