Proof of concept for Synext engine has been developed in 2015. This proof of concept was designed to show that rapid condensation of steam can generate enough force to move a piston. Based on this proof, Synext team is working towards manufacturing of first prototype with separate condenser and expander systems to increase the overall efficiency of the system. For this purpose, the preliminary design has been developed after literature study and mathematical models have been designed in MATLAB/Simulink environment. Also certain CFD (computational Fluid dynamics) studies have been done on realizing the condenser design. First working prototype of Synext engine with Piston expander can be expected by Q1 next year (2017) for experimental purposes.
As informed by Fotec, the micro-turbine prototype generating 182 W was developed in 2011 and since then not much research has taken place on that front. However, the design specifications and rules for developing a micro-turbine capable of operating in 2-phase regime is available with Fotec. The design is basically for low power output turbines and scaling up is a challenge. Since experimental setup is available for 182W turbine, scaling up can be studied and made possible with further research.
Synext engine consists of basic mechanical components which are available off the shelf. However, based on particular customer location, the design of the components can vary and hence customized solutions can be needed if required. Geurtsen Machinefabriek is a partner of Synext and is experienced in manufacturing mechanical equipment since 1945. They can contribute to the manufacturing of the engine parts for Synext. Regarding micro-turbine from Fotec, off the shelf turbines operational in 2-phase regime are not available in the market. Therefore, micro-turbines have to be manufactured based on inputs from customer location.
The current innovation readiness level which Synext has achieved is 4 where basic technological and business components are developed to establish that they will work together and an initial business plan is available. By the end of incubation period, we aim to reach an innovation readiness level of 7 where the team is in place and basic manufacturing can take place to generate limited revenue.
All of our financial resources are allocated to research and development. There are possibilities to patent important components of this system as our current research indicates.