The gas turbines we use today to produce electricity are based on the Brayton-cycle that was invented in 1872 by Robert Brayton. Basically it heats fresh air using fuel to drive a turbine that then produces a turning motion which can be converted to electricity.
The efficiency of such a turbine is normally around 40% but by reusing the heated gasses and using a higher compression an efficiency of 50% can be achieved.
This cycle dates back to 1872 which is a long time ago. It is very hard to invent new thermodynamic cycles, but recently a new cycle was invented, the Maisotsenko cycle. It is based on the psychometric principles.
It can only be used together with a specific turbine which was not efficient enough to use before the Maisotsenko cycle was invented.
This turbine is the ‘humid air turbine’ (HAT), it compresses humid air to be combusted by fuel and then turning a turbine. Because of this humid air it is much more efficient because the one can use the psychometric properties to go to superheated water.
However without the Maisotsenko cycle this HAT technology is not efficient enough because it still needs a lot of energy to humidify the used air. Not only the large amount of energy is a problem but also the different compression stages and apparatus cost a lot of money.
Using the Maisotsenko Combustion Turbine Cycle (MCTM) the HA turbine can be made much more cost efficient. Mainly because of the decrease in energy needed, and less apparatus.
The MCTM uses less energy and emits less pollution than a conventional gas turbine. The efficiency is 10% more than in a gas turbine. This is only an increase of 10% but the emission of less pollution is also a very important factor.
(The decrease in complexity and needed apparatus is easily visible if we compare the two pictures on the right hand side.)
This technology is one that will be commercially available within the next couple of years.
This just shows that there are still so many new technologies to be invented. It gives hope that one day we will find a technology that is very efficient and cheap, to replace all the other energy sources that we know today.