Research Opportunities

Dynamo Micropower - Development of a power electronics and energy storage system for a micro-gas-turbine power generator

SBIR Award Title

Principal Investigator, Chief Engineer

SBIR Award Abstract

Project summary: The project aims to develop a 10 kW micro-gas-turbine power generator for distributed generation applications. The generator will be optimized for robustness, ease of service, and portability. The primary application will be power generation in remote locations, and in locations where routine maintenance is expensive. The target entry market is powering pumping equipment at oil and gas wells using flare gas. The major research and development efforts are around micro-gas-turbine engine design and test... more

Research Opportunity

Development of a power electronics and energy storage system for a micro-gas-turbine power generator


28 Dane Street


Ivan Wang

Principal Investigator

Ivan Wang


This research and development project centers around designing, building, and testing a power electronics and energy storage system for Dynamo’s micro-gas-turbine power generator. Gas turbines are best operated at a fixed operating point (RPM, pressure, and power output). However, this particular system will go into the oil field for powering equipment on site, including the pump jack. The pump jack has a sinusoidal power requirement that follows the up and down strokes of the pump. Therefore, we want our power conversion system to include energy storage such that the engine itself can provide a steady supply of power while the energy storage system adjusts for the varying load.

Dynamo has a subcontractor in place for the power electronics system, so the focus of this project will be on energy storage. In particular, the main objectives are to (1) determine the best type of energy storage – such as but not limited to flywheel, batteries, super capacitors, etc. – based on the field requirements, (2) collaborate with power electronics engineers to design an energy storage system that will supply the load with the desired amount of power throughout the pump jack pumping cycle, and (3) build and test the energy storage unit in a laboratory setting and in the field.

Background information and performance: The average power output for the prototype unit is 36 kW. The variation in required power over time has an amplitude of 79 kW – there is negative power draw when the pump is going down due to gravity. The variation occurs on the order of 5 to 10 seconds, which follows the pump jack pumping frequency of 5 to 10 strokes per minute. The output of the full power generator system is 480 V, 3-phase, 60 Hz for supplying power to common industrial equipment. The energy storage system needs to be designed for long life, and need maintenance only 1 to 2 times a year.

Desired Knowledge

Applicant should have a strong background in electrical engineering, and in particular power electronics, power conversion, and energy storage. Knowledge in mechanical engineering is also useful.