History of Development of VAST Power Systems
VAST is an acronym for Value Added Steam Technologies. VAST Power Systems is pursuing the development of commercially competitive wet power systems with low emissions. VAST Combustors and Wet Thermodynamic Cycles are intended to operate up to near stoichiometric conditions using water and steam to replace excess air as a diluent in order to control combustion temperature and transverse Turbine Inlet Temperature distributions. Bench model tests in the mid-90’s demonstrated good control with wet combustion up to 16:1 water/fuel m/m. Since the late 1990’s VAST’s engineers and scientists have been probing a number of issues related to wet combustion, seeking answers to questions, developing analytical tools, and generating intellectual property based on our findings. This work is building on a foundation that was laid in the four previous decades by Lyle Ginter, the father of our current Chairman Gary Ginter. It is safe to say that we are staunch believers in the benefits of using water as the primary diluent for the many benefits that this enables. At the same time, we are the first to admit that there are some significant challenges to doing this, and we are actively working to overcome these challenges.
VAST’s Developmental Trajectory
VAST researchers are exploring several approaches to humid or wet combustion in an effort to successfully meet the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency EPA 2007 standards: i.e., ~ < 0.03 kg/MWh NOx, CO (~ <3 ppmvd NOx). VAST Cycles are being designed to include substantial steam and/or hot water use (Combined Heat & Power – CHP), wet compression, exhaust heat recovery and net positive internal water recovery. We are currently building our combustion lab and expect to begin performing experiments to empirically verify our computer model results within weeks. We believe that pushing ahead with this combined approach of computer modeling and laboratory verification is critical to our reaching our goals of lower emissions levels along with higher specific power and competitive efficiencies over realistic full plus partial loading usage patterns. VAST has a core team of full time and part time people working on this effort in conjunction with a number of resource specialists from academia and commercial service providers.
In addition to this work in the combustion area, VAST has found it necessary to work on developing various software tools that are suitable for modeling the higher water fraction paradigm we are seeking to implement. One of the most important of these is a simulation model that will substantiate both the thermodynamic and thermoeconomic aspects of our VAST Cycles and compare our cycles with other power cycles currently available or under development by others. Though we are comfortable with the results from thermodynamic models, we have yet to find or develop a thermoeconomic software package that properly models the complex interactions required to provide realistic IRR comparisons between cycles or between operational variations of our VAST Cycle. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that VAST is focusing on smaller systems that are being referred to as on site distributed power generation and combined heat and power DG/CHP. However, while we believe that our VASTechnologies™ will prove scalable to power systems of various sizes, we are finding that the software suites suitable for larger power plants are not easily modified to apply to the scale more commonly used in DG/CHP.
Lyle Ginter’s first patent was issued in 1972. Subsequent patents were filed in the U.S. and other countries in the 1990’s, and three major patent applications have been filed in the last two years along with six more provisional applications. These patents deal with a number of aspects of our combustion approach and the power cycles in which the combustor operates.
What VAST Proposes
VAST is preparing presentations to seek major industrial joint venture partners to demonstrate and commercialize these technologies. We would welcome learning more about your corporate interests in pursuing wet cycles and potential opportunities to jointly pursue mutual interests. We propose entering into a bilateral Confidentiality Non-Disclosure Agreement to facilitate further discussion.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to exploring an opportunity to work together.