capstone’s ‘181 patent application

After my last

post on some Capstone Turbine technology in June 2010, I was looking forward to seeing new published applications from them.  That though did not really pan out.  Rather, there was a quiet period with no new patent documents appearing at the USPTO.  In November this year this changed with the publication of a patent application entitled “MULTISTAGED LEAN PREVAPORIZING PREMIXING FUEL INJECTOR”, carrying the publication number US2013/0306181.  I will refer to it as the ‘181 application.

At paragraph [0009] of the Background it is stated that “Lean prevaporized premixed injector systems coupled with fuel composition changes are more subject to problems such as combustion instability, flashback and auto ignition.”  So, if I were back in the mode of writing such things I might say that the system and methods disclosed in the ‘181 application are designed to obviate or mitigate at least one drawback of previous systems … or something like that.

More seriously though one system disclosed in the ‘181 application is presented in Figure 1, which is reproduced below.  I will not go into the details of the system here, however I will note a few features for sake of discussion.  Fuel injector 10 has a prevaporizing and premixing chamber 44 for the mixing of fuel from atomization nozzle 50 and combustion air 36, that enters the chamber 44 through air supply passage 72.  In the embodiment depicted in Figure 1 a first flow distributor 30 lies between chamber 44 and intermediate prevaporizing and premixing chamber 46.  The final chamber 48 lies adjacent to the combustion zone 40.

13_dec fig.1

Now it starts to get interesting. At paragraph [0042] it is disclosed that the injector 10 can handle multiple fuel streams such as liquid fuel via nozzle 50 and one or more gaseous fuels through fuel inlets 64 and 66.  Further at paragraph [0059] it is mentioned that the multiple fuels may include a low quality fuel and higher quality fuel.  This aspect of the ‘181 application appears to be worth noting.

At the end of the day it will be interesting to see if and how any of the disclosed systems make it to end products.