Researchers of Hanwha Power Systems and Southwest Research Institute pose after receiving the R&D100 Award for their supercritical CO2 engine in California on Nov. 17. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Power Systems

Its supercritical engine recognized as innovative tech

Hanwha Power Systems announced on Nov. 21 that its supercritical CO2 engine had won the prestigious R&D 100 Award last week in the United States.

The Seoul-based company has collaborated with the Southwest Research Institute to test the viability of the technology under the support of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The engine converts thermal energy from a heat generation source to electrical energy in a more efficient and eco-friendly way than the conventional steam turbine system.

“The supercritical CO2 engine takes advantage of solar power instead of fossil fuels. As a result, it is recognized as an environmentally friendly solution,” a Hanwha official said.

“We have source technologies for the engine, while the Southwest Research Institute helped us carry out its feasibility test in the United States. The test would finish in early 2024. Then, we would know when to commercialize it.”

Southwest Research Institute President Adam Hamilton said that the outfit was committed to exploring energy solutions benefitting humankind.

“I’m very proud that this work has been recognized as one of the most important innovations of the year,” he said.

The institute said that it had achieved many breakthroughs along with Hanwha.

“It also features the highest-density integrally geared expander, radial expander, and integrally geared compressor as well as the highest temperature radial expander at pressures above 100 bar,” the institute noted.

Established in 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have been viewed as one of the most prestigious innovation awards programs, honoring the top 100 revolutionary technologies.