Aerojet Rocketdyne, DOE Partner to Advance Rotating Detonation Engine Tech for Natural Gas-Fueled Power Plants

nuclear power plantAerojet Rocketdyne and the Energy Department‘s National Energy Technology Laboratory will continue to develop air-breathing rotating detonation engine technology intended for natural gas-fueled power plants under a $6.8 million follow-on cooperative agreement.

The new agreement comes under the second phase of a DOE program that seeks to build on Aerojet Rocketdyne‘s RED development efforts with University of Michigan, Purdue University, University of Alabama, Southwest Research Institute and University of Central Florida, the company said Tuesday.

Aerojet Rocketdyne previously demonstrated an RDE technology fueled by natural gas at various conditions that simulated gas turbine power plant operation.

“The mechanical simplicity of the technology we are developing leads us to believe it can be applied and provide benefits to a wide spectrum of applications,” said Tyler Evans, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Rocket Shop Defense Advanced Programs.

Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president, said that company aims to introduce the technology to the energy sector through the NETL.

RDE technology is designed to increase cycle efficiency of natural gas-fueled power stations by managing the performance of pressure gain combustion and the level of combustion-related flow variations.

Aerojet Rocketdyne has conducted at least 650 RDE hot-fire and associated development tests in efforts to mature the technology.

The company also concurrently develops RDEs for propulsion applications at the Defense Department.

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