Tandem drive truck with Route powertrain using Fulcrum turbine
Wrightspeed announced this month a new range extender for electric vehicles - a turbine generator called Fulcrum.
It has 80 kW of power, weight of 250 lbs (113 kg) and is 30% more efficient than the "existing turbine generators", which by the way doesn't tell us how efficient it actually is.
"Fulcrum is a radial inflow, axial turbine, intercooled and recuperated. Fulcrum is a single shaft machine, the generator runs at turbine speed (~100,000 rpm). "
Wrightspeed founder Ian Wright believes that turbines will replace piston engines in extended range EVs.
"Each component of every Wrightspeed powertrain is engineered from the ground up to systematically deliver ideal performance and with the Fulcrum, Wrightspeed now owns 100% of the Intellectual Property of its powertrain products. In Wrightspeed's range-extended architecture, unlike in parallel hybrid architectures, the Fulcrum will not provide direct propulsion to the drive wheels, but be used to re-charge the battery system. This means that the Fulcrum is only used when it is needed, and can run at the cleanest and most efficient operating point. Weighing in at 250 lbs., the Fulcrum is approximately 1/10th the weight of its piston generator counterparts and it is designed to have a 10,000 hour lifetime. While piston generators rely on catalytic converters to reduce their emissions by 10x to meet ever-increasing California Air Resources Board standards, the Fulcrum turbine generator is so much cleaner, that it meets emissions standards without adding to its weight and complexity.
A two-stage compression process and unique recuperation design make the Fulcrum 30% more efficient than existing turbine generators, while tripling usable power. Its multi-fuel capabilities allow it to burn diesel, CNG, LNG, landfill gases, biodiesel, kerosene, propane, heating oil, and others. In addition, the Fulcrum will make for a smooth, comfortable ride for drivers and a quiet, clean experience for neighborhoods because of its ultra-low vibration."
Ian Wright, CEO and founder of Wrightspeed said:
"The automotive industry is in the midst of a fundamental disruption, with electric vehicles merely symbolizing the beginning of the movement. The Fulcrum, together with our range-extended EV architecture, is perfectly suited for achieving maximum efficiency in extremely high-power stop-and-go applications, such as garbage trucks. For many of the same reasons that aviation changed from piston engines to turbines decades ago, we believe turbines will begin to replace piston engines in range-extended electric vehicle applications."
Source: Wrightspeed via Green Car Congress