Ceramatec develops innovative engine with no moving parts

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Salt Lake City-based company Ceramatec is seeking to unlock the secrets of electrochemistry and unleash a new stage in renewable energy innovation, something Dr. Lynn Orr, undersecretary for science and energy at the federal agency, saw quite a bit of during a tour of the company.

Orr visited multiple labs at the Ceramatec headquarters, which was then gifted a U.S. Department of Energy grant of $2.4 million to bring one project up to demonstration phase over a three-year period.

Ceramatec, a former technology spinoff from the University of Utah that incorporated in 1976, is inventing an engine with no moving parts for concentrating solar power systems. This is the project that is receiving the grant, since it has great potential to change the way electric engines work.

The technology being developed uses mirrors to reflect concentrated sunlight onto receivers that then collect the energy and convert it into heat. The heat then produces electricity by means of a turbine or energy. This would produce a modular heat engine power block tailored to convert heat directly into electricity without moving parts. Such an advancement would have over 50 percent efficiencies, a vast improvement over concentrating solar plants that work at a 35 percent to 45 percent efficiency rate.

Source: Deseret News