(By Balaseshan) United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) said its unit was selected to receive three cost-sharing contract awards totaling more than $5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) has selected Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for three cost-sharing projects designed to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of gas turbines in commercial-scale power plants.
The first project, Turbo-POx For Ultra Low-Cost Gasoline, is designed to improve the production of liquid fuels from natural gas. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will focus on burning natural gas more efficiently in a high-temperature, high-pressure partial oxidation gas turbine.
[Related -Jobs Growth Tepid At Best]
This technology, when combined with downstream gas-to-liquid processes, can produce gasoline derived from domestic natural gas, rather than from foreign crude oil, reducing the cost of gas-to-liquid technology by as much as 25%. It can also generate electricity from heat released in the process.
For the second project, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will design and build continuous detonation combustors and test them in a simulated gas turbine environment to establish the feasibility of incorporating the technology into natural gas-fueled gas turbine electric power generators.
The Continuous Detonation Engine Combustor for Natural Gas Turbine technology is expected to save commercial-scale power plants $5 million annually in operating expenses per turbine.
[Related -United Technologies Corporation (UTX) Dividend Stock Analysis]
For the third project, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will develop an advanced gas turbine cycle designed to offer unmatched efficiency by using pure oxygen instead of air to burn fuel, creating extremely high temperatures.
To prevent melting, the system would use Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's expertise in liquid rocket engines to develop advanced cooling technology. This cycle will produce zero emissions and has the potential to reduce the amount of fuel used to power natural gas turbines by as much as 50%. It also has the potential to more than double power plant efficiencies to 75%, and lower the cost of electricity by about 60%.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, headquartered in Canoga Park, California, is a provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.
UTX is trading down 0.27% at $79.89 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $70.71 and $87.50 for the past 52 weeks.