Understanding Our DCGT Technology

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A Detonation Cycle Gas Turbine engine includes a turbine rotor contained within a housing. Exhaust ports of respective valveless combustion chambers located on opposite sides of the rotor direct combustion gasses towards the turbine, which operates in similar fashion to a Pelton water wheel.

Turbine blades are positively displaced through a blade race (tangentially to the turbine shaft) by kinetic impact and expansion of gasses exiting from the combustion chambers via nozzles, rather than pistons, axial flow, or radial inflow expanders.

The combustion chambers are connected by a valveless manifold fed with fuel and oxidizer. When combustible gasses are detonated by an igniter in one of the combustion chambers (via the EIC process), the back pressure from the detonation shuts off the fuel and oxidizer flow to that chamber and redirects the fuel and oxidizer to the opposite chamber, where detonation occurs. The process repeats cyclically. Power is taken off the rotor shaft mechanically or electrically.

The Electromagnetic Isothermal Combustion (EIC) Process

A conventional rotary blower supplies low pressure air to the manifold. The use of a blower rather than a compressor provides many benefits; including less exhaust gas per horsepower hour and higher thermo-mechanical efficiencies than gas turbine or piston engines. Low pressure gaseous fuel from a throttle regulator is injected into the venturis in the manifold, which is adjacent to the constant volume combustion chamber. In the combustion chamber, a high power electric arc (of 300 Joules) produces photolytic and radiolytic particles and waves, disassociating oxygen and hydrocarbon molecules throughout the chamber and producing complete detonation of the fuel and high velocity shock waves that kinetically compress the remaining inert gases. Detonation pressures exceed 80 atmospheres and produce mean chamber pressures of 20 atmospheres to drive the turbine.

The block diagram below shows the nature of the turbine assembly, electrical system, and fuel supply in the Detonation Cycle Gas Turbine engine system.


The DCGT Engine with Hybrid-Electric Drive
Schematic Drawing and Explanation

Turbine Truck Engines’ revolutionary new Detonation Cycle Gas Turbine engine can further reduce environmental pollution and increase overall engine fuel efficiency when used as the heart of a hybrid-electric power plant. As shown in the above diagram, the vehicle may be powered by either the DCGT engine or the battery. The battery is charged whenever the DCGT is turning and, additionally, during breaking, via the D.C. Motor. The D.C. Motor will also add braking horsepower to the wheels during deceleration, by running backwards, reducing brake wear. The entire in-line direct drive hybrid-electric DCGT engine requires no clutches.

How does the DCGT work?

The Detonation Cycle Gas Turbine (DCGT) engine is unique in its operation cycle; simple yet robust and reliable at the same time. A cross-section of the engine shows its internal components. At the heart of the engine is the turbine wheel which consists of a series of blades installed on a disk attached to the main drive shaft. Two combustion chambers (CC), that are staggered, direct the high-energy detonation gases onto the turbine blades. Thermodynamic expansion of the hot gas causes the turbine to spin, and low energy gas is discharged from the turbine assembly via the exhaust outlets (EO).

As can be seen from the above sketch, the air/fuel supply pipes to the CC are of different lengths. This is crucial to the successful operation of the DCGT. As fuel/air is supplied to both Combustion Chambers (CC-1 and CC-2), the path to CC-1 which is shown by the blue arrow is shorter than that to CC-2 (green arrow). Detonation occurs in CC-1 first.

When detonation occurs (as shown), two events take place. The first event is to introduce high-energy gases to the turbine wheel assembly. This will cause the drive shaft to spin delivering useful work. The second event which is equally important is to create a pressure-based blockage in the supply pipe, as shown. This pressure-based blockage allows the next “dose” of fuel/air to be delivered to CC-2. Detonation next occurs in CC-2. As a result, more high-energy gas is introduced to the turbine wheel with additional net gain of useful work. Pressure-based blockage then builds up in the supply pipe to CC-2 diverting fuel/air to CC-1, and the cycle continues.

This cyclic detonation has several benefits. First, the discontinuous use of fuel leads to significant fuel savings and increased efficiency. Second, the intermittent introduction of high-temperature events (detonation) leads to an overall reduction in equilibrium temperature, and thus, longer part life and longer maintenance intervals.

View photos and videos of our six DCGT prototype engines.

Learn more about the potential markets for our DCGT engines.

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The DCGT in Depth:

About the Technology


Potential Markets

5th Generation DCGT Engine Rendering
2006 rendering of a TTE DCGT engine