High efficiency Brayton cycles using LNG

Patent Number: 7,028,481
Issued: 4/18/2006
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A modified, closed-loop Brayton cycle power conversion system that uses liquefied natural gas as the cold heat sink media. When combined with a helium gas cooled nuclear reactor, achievable efficiency can approach 68 76% (as compared to 35% for conventional steam cycle power cooled by air or water). A superheater heat exchanger can be used to exchange heat from a side-stream of hot helium gas split-off from the primary helium coolant loop to post-heat vaporized natural gas exiting from low and high-pressure coolers. The superheater raises the exit temperature of the natural gas to close to room temperature, which makes the gas more attractive to sell on the open market. An additional benefit is significantly reduced costs of a LNG revaporization plant, since the nuclear reactor provides the heat for vaporization instead of burning a portion of the LNG to provide the heat.
Filed: 10/14/2004
Application Number: 10/965,577
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.