Subject: UFTO Note – Hybrid power system splits petroleum fuel for fuel cell and IC engine
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997
From: Ed Beardsworth
| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675
| http://www.ufto.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Hybrid power system splits petroleum fuel for fuel cell and IC engine
Procyon Power Systems Inc is developing an innovative hybrid power plant that combines an internal combustion engine and a fuel cell. The system features a unique proprietary fuel processor that extracts a portion of the hydrogen from the hydrocarbon fuel for use in the fuel cell. The remaining carbon-rich fuel is used in the IC engine.
As a power system for vehicles, the fuel cell delivers high power, while the IC engine handles the base loads. This combination gives an overall fuel efficiency about 2 1/2 times current vehicle engines, coupled with ultra-low emissions. The company has filed a patent application for this hybrid system concept. In addition to vehicle applications, Procyon is also exploring use of the system for stationary distributed power generation.
The fuel processor uses pyrolysis (thermal decomposition in the absence of oxygen) to split the hydrocarbon liquid fuel, and avoids the need for complex gas separation and filtering. A patent application has been filed for the processor.
This breakthrough technology was proven in tests at Pacific Northwest National Lab in December 1996, which showed that 20% of the fuel could be converted to hydrogen without coking. The process heat requirement is a small fraction of the total fuel energy content. As it converts only a portion of the fuel to hydrogen, the process is much cheaper and simpler than partial oxidation or steam reforming.
The Atkinson cycle engine has greater thermal efficiency at low loads than conventional Otto engines. (Otto engines use identical compression and expansion ratios and have a 10 to 1 peak to average power rating, giving better efficiency at full power. In the Atkinson cycle, the volumetric expansion ratio is much larger as compared with the compression ratio, resulting in the best efficiency at a fraction of peak load.)
Thus the Atkinson engine doesn’t have the wide power range of the Otto cycle, but this is exactly what is wanted to provide base load in this hybrid system approach. In a timely confirmation of Procyon’s approach, Toyota recently announced that its new production battery-hybord will also use an Atkinson cycle IC engine.
The company is seeking investment capital to continue its development.
Gary Noland, President
Ambrose Manikowski, Vice President
Allen McKee, CFO
Procyon Power Systems Inc.
Alameda CA 510-864-3179 fax 510-864-3180