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Title:
COMBUSTION CHAMBER ARRANGEMENT AND SYSTEM COMPRISING SAID ARRANGEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/137661
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An object of the present invention is to provide a method and a system for implementing the method so as to alleviate the disadvantages of a reciprocating combustion engine and gas turbine when generating power. The invention is based on the idea of arranging a multifunction valve inside a combustion chamber to create more favourable conditions for combustion process. The multifunction valve may act as an output valve, but it can also provide additional final compression to contents of the compression chamber and it may even capture part of energy released in a combustion process.

Inventors:
ERÄMAA, Timo (c/o Lahden SeudunKehitys LADEC O, Niemenkatu 73 Lahti, 15140, FI)
Application Number:
FI2017/050068
Publication Date:
August 17, 2017
Filing Date:
February 07, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FINNO ENERGY OY (Niemenkatu 73, Lahti, 15140, FI)
International Classes:
F02C5/08; F02B71/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2000015954A12000-03-23
WO2015177409A12015-11-26
Foreign References:
DE19640191A11998-04-09
US20130167794A12013-07-04
US2095984A1937-10-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLSTER OY AB (P.O.Box 204, Helsinki, Helsinki, 00181, FI)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A combustion chamber arrangement comprising a combustion chamber (70) for combusting fuel, an input valve (71 ) arranged to control an input for supplying air, means for controlling an input for supplying fuel to the combustion chamber (70), and an output (72) for expelling combustion products from the combustion chamber (70), the combustion chamber (70) being formed of a hollow container having a centre axis (X-X), a first axial end portion (70A) and an opposite second axial end portion (70B), characterized in that

the air and the fuel are supplied to the first axial end portion (70A) of the combustion chamber (70),

the output (72) is positioned in the second axial end portion (70B) of the combustion chamber (70),

the arrangement comprises further a multifunction valve (73, 74) being axially movable within the combustion chamber (70), the multifunction valve (73, 74) comprising a valve disc (73) and a stem (74) mounted on the valve disc (73) and protruding out from the second axial end portion (70B) of the combustion chamber (70), whereby the valve disc (73) divides the interior of the combustion chamber (70) into two chamber portions at each axial side of the valve disc (73), the first chamber portion formed between the valve disc (73) and the first axial end portion (70A) of the combustion chamber (70) forming a variable volume combustion chamber opening into the output (72) when the valve disc (73) moves towards the second axial end portion (70B) of the combustion chamber (70).

2. A combustion chamber arrangement as claimed in claim 1 , characterized in that the multifunction valve (73, 74) is operated with an electric linear drive acting on the stem (74) of the multifunction valve (73, 74).

3. A combustion chamber arrangement as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the electric linear drive is used as a generator in order to generate electricity when the valve disc (73) and the stem (74) are moved by the expansion of the ignited mixture of air and fuel in the first portion of the combustion chamber (70).

4. A combustion chamber arrangement as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the multifunction valve (73, 74) comprises at least one duct within the valve disc (73) and is arranged to be cooled with water flow through said duct.

5. A combustion chamber arrangement as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the multifunction valve (73, 74) comprises at least one duct having an output in the valve disc (73), the multifunction valve (73, 74) being arranged to supply water through said duct and spray the water from said output.

6. A combustion chamber arrangement as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the multifunction valve (73, 74) is arranged to compress the input contents of the combustion chamber (70) by reducing the volume of the first chamber portion of the combustion chamber (70) when fuel and air has been supplied to the first chamber portion and the input valve (71 ) is closed.

7. A power generating system having

a turbine (22) in connection with one or more compressors (24) for converting energy fed to the turbine (22) into mechanical energy of a rotatable power shaft and to compress air with one or more compressors (24),

a combustion chamber (10, 70) arranged to receive fuel from a fuel tank (30) and compressed air to initiate a combustion process and output combustion products into the turbine (22) for rotating the rotor of the turbine and thereby rotating the power shaft, and

an input valve functionally connected to the combustion chamber (10, 70) for controlling the combustion process, which is a cycle process comprising a compression phase and an expansion phase,

one or more controllable input valves for providing the compressed air to the combustion chamber (10), and

a control unit for controlling said one or more input valves, characterized in that the system comprises the combustion chamber arrangement of any of claims 1 to 6.

8. A power generating system as claimed in claim 7, c h a r a c - t e r i z e d in that the system further comprises an air chamber (27) having means for heating air inside the air chamber (27), wherein the air chamber (27) is arranged to receive compressed air from the one or more compressors (24), heat the compressed air and exhaust the heated compressed air to the combustion chamber (10).

9. A power generating system as claimed in claim 8, characterized in that the air chamber (27) further comprises means for cooling the air chamber (27) with a fluid.

10. A power generating system as claimed in any one of claims 7 to

9, characterized in that the air chamber (27) further comprises one or more air ducts within the air chamber (27) for flowing ambient or heated air in order to heat or cool the air inside the air chamber (27).

1 1 . A power generating system as claimed in any one of claims 7 to

10, characterized in that the system further comprises:

a heat exchanger (42) in thermal interaction with the combustion products exhaust from the turbine (22) for transferring heat from the exhaust combustion products into steam,

one or more input valves (102, 103, 104, 1 14) for providing the steam to the turbine (22), and

a control unit for controlling said one or more input valves (102, 103, 104) for generating a time-dependent steam injection into the turbine (22).

12. A power generating system as claimed in claim 1 1 , characterized in that the system further comprises:

a steam tank (34) for accumulating steam,

a condenser (50) for condensing the steam into water, a water tank (36) for accumulating the water, and

means for pumping the water from the water tank (36) to the heat exchanger (42) for vaporizing the water into steam which is arranged to flow into the steam tank (34).

13. A power generating system as claimed in any one of claims 7 to

12, characterized in that the combustion chamber (10) is arranged to work in cycles.

14. A power generating system as claimed in any one of claims 7 to

13, characterized in that the combustion chamber (10) is arranged to work in two alternating cycles wherein the first cycle is a combustion cycle in which fuel is fed to the combustion chamber (10) and the second cycle is a cooling cycle in which a fluid is arranged to flow through the combustion chamber (10) for cooling the combustion chamber (10).

Description:
COMBUSTION CHAMBER ARRANGEMENT AND SYSTEM COMPRISING SAID ARRANGEMENT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a combustion chamber arrangement having a multifunction valve, and to a power generating system comprising said arrangement.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In a gas turbine the first zone is exposed to temperature produced in a combustion chamber. Temperature of input gas to the gas turbine therefore restricts efficiency of the gas turbine. In a piston engine combustion is periodic which allows use of very high temperatures during combustion. However the reciprocating pistons and crank mechanism restrict running speed of a piston engine as the pistons have a high mass and all the energy is converted into mechanical work of the pistons and heat. In order to reach a decent efficiency, the pistons have to be well sealed and lubricated.

A typical engine system of the prior art consists of a fuel tank and a combustion engine. An internal combustion engine comprises a set of cylinders with a corresponding set of reciprocating pistons. One of the problems associated with the above arrangement is that the moving pistons and other moving parts have to be constantly lubricated with oil which has a significant impact on running temperature of the combustion engine. Consecutively, the running temperature is a significant factor when considering the efficiency. The moving parts require constant lubrication and thus the above mentioned engine withstands running temperature of less than 100 degrees Celsius without a significant deterioration of durability. Large portion of the produced heat is waste heat which in relatively low temperature which in turn makes it difficult to utilize the waste heat for energy production or other purposes.

US patent 2,095,984 (H. Holzwarth) discloses an explosion turbine plant. The explosion turbine plant comprises an impulse rotor, pistonless explosion chambers for generating explosion gases and nozzles for expanding and directing the gases to a rotor being driven exclusively by intermittent puffs of said gases. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is thus to provide a method and a system for implementing the method so as to alleviate the above disadvantages. The objects of the invention are achieved by a combustion chamber arrangement and a system which are characterized by what is stated in the independent claims. The preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

The invention is based on the idea of arranging a multifunction valve inside a combustion chamber to create more favourable conditions for combustion process. The multifunction valve may act as an output valve, but it can also provide additional final compression to contents of the combustion chamber and it may even capture part of energy released in a combustion process. The combustion chamber arrangement is located outside a gas turbine and compressed air can be provided to the combustion chamber in order to carry out a combustion process in controlled and optimal conditions and use residue heat from the process.

An advantage of the arrangement and system of the invention is that the multifunction valve is used for delimiting a combustion zone within the combustion chamber during input phase ensuring that a high pressure can be achieved prior to ignition of fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber arrangement also allows final compression to be made within the combustion chamber during which pressure of the fuel-air mixture rises even further which in turn reduces need for raising the pressure with a compressor which would need mechanical energy. According to the present invention, heat is exhausted from the system in relatively high temperature similar to a typical gas turbine. This high temperature exhaust creates favourable conditions for utilizing the exhaust heat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following the invention will be described in greater detail by means of preferred embodiments with reference to the attached drawings, in which

Figure 1 illustrates a first electric generator system according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 illustrates a second electric generator system with steam circulation system according to an embodiment of the invention; Figure 3 illustrates a third electric generator system with an injector or ejector system according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 4 illustrates a detail of a system having two combustion chambers;

Figure 5 illustrates the changes in pressure over time in a system according to an embodiment;

Figure 6 illustrates use of various available energy sources within the combustion chamber according to an embodiment; and

Figures 7a to 7d illustrate a combustion chamber arrangement according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to a simple example of Figure 1 , the power generator system comprises a turbine 22 which is in connection with a power shaft 51 and a compressor 24 axially or via a transmission 20. The system may also comprise an electric generator which can be driven with the power shaft 51 or it may also be axially connected to the turbine 22. A rotor of the turbine 22 rotates when energy is fed to the turbine by means of fluid flowing through the turbine. Rotation of the turbine rotor drives the transmission 20 and the power shaft 51 and the compressor 24 which both are connected to the transmission. The turbine, the generator, the power shaft and the compressor may be connected to the transmission by means of drive shafts, axles or other suitable power transmission means. The arrangement converts the energy fed to the turbine 22 into mechanical work of the power shaft 51 and into air pressure with the compressor 24 which compresses air for the combustion chamber 10. In an embodiment the compressor 24 accumulates compressed air into an air tank 32 which then feeds the combustion chamber 10 with the compressed air accumulated in the air tank 32. The compressor 24 is preferably a screw compressor which is highly efficient and able to provide high pressure to the combustion chamber 10 and to the air tank 32. In an embodiment, the system comprises a second screw compressor connected in series with the first screw compressor 24 to provide even higher pressure to the air tank. In an embodiment, the system comprises a combination of an axial compressor 24, such as a radial compressor and a screw compressor connected in series with the axial compressor 24 to provide air to the air tank. One or more or all of the compressors can be for example axial, radial, screw, piston or some other type of compressor. The series of compressors can be a combination of one or more of said compressor types connected in parallel or in series. The compressor or the compressors are preferably arranged to build up pressure of over 2 MPa to the air tank. In an embodiment, the compressor or the compressors are arranged to build up pressure of over 3 MPa, 3,5 MPa or 4 MPa to the air tank. In an embodiment the compressor 24 may be driven with an electric motor. In an embodiment an intercooler can be provided between the series-connected first compressor and the second compressor to cool down the air between the compressors. In an embodiment intercoolers can be provided between some or all of the series-connected compressor stages to cool down the air between the compressors. The intercooler can then be used to generate steam which can be injected into the combustion chamber in a form of short, high pressure steam pulses between expansion phases of the combustion cycle. In an embodiment serially connected screw compressors can share a common shaft so that successive compression stages are partitioned along the common shaft and intercoolers are provided between each compression stages to extract heat from the compressed gas. Compressed air from any compression stage can be directed to flow into a combustion chamber 10, air chamber 27, air tank 32 or some other part of the system.

The combustion inside the combustion chamber is deflagration combustion, not detonating combustion. Detonating combustion is an unwanted phenomenon as the pressure tends to rise to levels which can damage the system, especially controlled valves. Deflagration combustion is fundamentally different from detonation combustion which is unwanted in the context of the present power generating system. Deflagration is a subsonic combustion process in which a flame front passes through a fuel-air mixture with flame speeds from about one meter per second to a few hundred meters per second, releasing the heat of reaction at a slow pace. Detonation produces supersonic combustion wave that propagates thousands of meters per second relative to an unburned fuel-air mixture. The detonation wave is a shock wave driven by the energy released in reaction zones right behind it.

The described systems are essentially based on Humphrey cycle engine. Main difference to Brayton cycle is that constant-pressure heat addition process of the Brayton cycle is replaced by a constant-volume heat addition process. Ideal Humphrey cycle consists of four processes: reversible and adiabatic compression of incoming gas; constant-volume heat addition; reversible and adiabatic expansion of the gas; and constant-pressure heat rejection. In short, Humphrey cycle engine is a device in which a significant part of compression and expansion of gases takes place outside a combustion chamber in one or more steps. Said significant part is preferably over 50% but in some embodiments it may be over 20%, over 25%, over 30%, over 35%, over 40% or over 45%.

The electric generator system also comprises a combustion chamber 10 which is arranged to receive compressed air from the compressor 24, air chamber or from the air tank 32 and fuel from a fuel tank 30 to initiate a combustion process. The compressed air is released from the air tank into the combustion chamber 10 by means of a controllable multifunction valve. The compressed air is preheated before entering the combustion chamber with a heat recovery unit 40 which conveys heat from the combustion chamber to the compressed air. A regenerator can be used after the last compressor to heat up the compressed air before it is fed to the combustion chamber or to a bypass duct which bypasses the combustion chamber. The regenerator may use waste heat from e.g. exhaust gas or combustion chamber for heating up the compressed air. The compressed air may also be preheated with other means, for example electrically with a resistor, when the system is started and the combustion chamber is at room temperature.

In an embodiment one or more air chambers 27 each comprising a cylinder defining a volume inside it and a movable piston for changing the volume inside the cylinder, the volume being defined by the cylinder and the piston. The cylinder comprises input and output for air and said input and output are preferably controlled by one or more valves. The piston preferably comprises a valve, such as a clap valve or a flap valve, for enabling a flow of air in to the space defined by the cylinder and the piston. The cylinder preferably comprises one or more air ducts on it or in its walls for heating or cooling the cylinder and its contents by running hot or cold air, respectively, through the one or more air ducts. In this case hot air means hotter than the cylinder and cold air means colder than the cylinder. Compressed air from the compressor or from any stage of the serially connected compressors can be arranged to flow into the one or more air chambers. In an embodiment the system comprises one air chamber for each stage of serially connected compressors so that a flow of compressed air from each compressing stage is arranged to flow into a dedicated air chamber. In an embodiment the air pressure in a single air chamber can be raised gradually by arranging a flow of compressed air after each stage of serially connected compressors to said air chamber.

The air chambers can be operated in steps which comprise cooling down the air chamber, filling the air chamber gradually, heating up the air chamber and its contents, and finally, exhausting the compressed and heated air from the air chamber. The process repeats itself in a cycle having a certain cycle time. The heated air from the air chamber is exhausted preferably via heat exchanger to the combustion chamber. The heat exchanger can be a part of the air chamber or in connection with the air chamber. In an embodiment the air ducts of the cylinder of the air chamber form the heat exchanger.

The cooling step in the operation of the air chamber can be realized by arranging a flow of a fluid such as steam or ambient air or some other gas through the air chamber or through the air ducts of the air chamber. The cooling air can be in atmospheric pressure, i.e. approximately 100 kPa. The cooling step may take for example 7,5 % or 6 to 10 % of the time of the cycle, for example 9 seconds in a 120 second cycle or less in a shorter cycle.

In the filling step each air chamber is filled with air from dedicated compressing stage or in case of a single air chamber, it is gradually filled with air from one or more compressors until a desired pressure within the air chamber is reached. The input valve to the air chamber is opened and compressed air is arranged to flow into the air chamber. The gradual filling is preferably achieved by arranging a flow of compressed air from more than one stage of serially connected compressors. The desired pressure may vary but it is higher than the atmospheric pressure. In an embodiment the desired pressure can be for example at least 1 ,5 Mpa, 2 Mpa, 3 Mpa, 4 Mpa or some other pressure. The filling step may take for example less than 1 % or 0,5 to 2 % of the time of the cycle, for example 1 second in a 120 second cycle or less in a shorter cycle.

The heating step is realized by arranging a flow of hot air, e.g. from a heat exchanger, through the air ducts of the air chamber. The heating of the air chamber and thus the air within the air chamber further increases the pressure of the air within the air chamber. The heating step may take for example 40 % or 30 to 60 % of the time of the cycle, for example 50 seconds in a 120 second cycle or less in a shorter cycle.

In the exhausting step the output valve of the air chamber is opened and the compressed and heated air is arranged to flow into the combustion chamber. Preferably the heated air flows through a heat exchanger 25 before entering the combustion chamber. The exhausting of the compressed and heated air may be facilitated with the piston of the air chamber. The exhausting step may take for example 50 % or 40 to 60 % of the time of the cycle, for example 60 seconds in a 120 second cycle or less in a shorter cycle.

Fuel is released or pumped from the fuel tank and injected into the combustion chamber or mixed with air before introduction to the combustion chamber. The fuel is preferably diesel or liquid natural gas (LNG). In an embodiment, the fuel is gasoline, natural gas, ethanol, biodiesel or a mixture of two or more the preceding fuels. In an embodiment, the fuel comprises hydrogen and carbon monoxide mixture which is a by-product of a soda recovery unit. In an embodiment water or steam may be injected with fuel into the combustion chamber. In an embodiment the fuel comprises coal dust or brown coal dust as such or mixed to natural gas, diesel or some other suitable fuel.

The fuel injected into the combustion chamber ignites due to high pressure and temperature inside the combustion chamber or it is ignited by a dedicated ignition system. The high pressure in the combustion chamber is arranged by releasing air from the air tank to the combustion chamber. In addition to the preheating, the heat of the combustion chamber heats up the released air inside the combustion chamber and builds up even higher pressure. The ignition may be continuously triggered by a dedicated energy source or when the system is started and the combustion chamber has not yet reached its running temperature. The dedicated energy source for ignition can be e.g. an ignition coil, a condenser, a pre-combustion chamber, a glow plug, a pre-glow arrangement, a heater arrangement, plasma ignition and laser ignition. In an embodiment the system comprises an antechamber or a pre- combustion chamber. A fuel mixture can be ignited in the pre-combustion chamber to initiate the combustion process. In multi-fuel systems, a mixture of e.g. methane and air can be supplied to the combustion chamber and it can be ignited with direct injection of diesel. The combustion process produces heat which heats up the combustion chamber and keeps the combustion process running by heating the fuel and the compressed air which are introduced into the combustion chamber. In an embodiment the ignition is also used during the combustion cycle after the system is started. In an embodiment the heat recovery unit 40 or other means of heat extraction is used to convey heat from the combustion chamber or combustion process to water or steam and generate high pressure steam. The high pressure steam is injected into the combustion chamber between the expansion phases of the combustion process. The steam is injected in short, high pressure pulses and the amount of pulses between two expansion phases may be for example 1 to 10, 2 to 8, 3 to 6 or some other amount, such as 4, 5, 7 or 8.

In an embodiment the system comprises means, such as heat exchangers, for producing heat to a district heating system. Some of the thermal energy that the electric generator system produces can be extracted from the system and transferred with heat exchanger to heating water of a district heating system. This combined production of electrical and thermal energy raises the overall efficiency of the system.

In an embodiment the system comprises means, such as heat exchangers, for using the thermal energy of the electric generator system to run an absorption cooling system. Some of the thermal energy that the electric generator system produces can be extracted from the system and transferred with heat exchanger to absorption cooling system which in areas of warm climate may raise the overall efficiency of the system.

The combustion chamber 10 is preferably a hollow container with input means for fuel and compressed air and an output for combustion products i.e. exhaust gas. The inputs and the output are controllable and may be closed and opened in specific phases of a combustion cycle in order to build up pressure into the combustion chamber before the ignition of the fuel and to expel combustion products after the ignition. Input and output can be understood as an inlet and an outlet, respectively, but the terms input and output are used throughout this text. One or more valves can be used to control flow to and from the combustion chamber. A multifunction valve 73,74 is preferably used as an output valve but also an additional output valve can be used. In an embodiment one or more of the input valves are so called radial valves i.e. located radially around the combustion chamber cover. The input valves can be fixed to an inclined position to the combustion chamber i.e. not perpendicular to the combustion chamber wall. In an embodiment one or more input valves functionally connected to the combustion chamber 10 for controlling the combustion process are fixed to an inclined position to the normal of the combustion chamber wall so that an input of gas produces a controlled whirl of gas to the combustion chamber. The inclined position of a valve produces a whirl of gas in the combustion chamber when the gas is injected through the inclined valve. This type of whirl can be controlled with the inclined valves whereas random whirls produced by perpendicularly positioned valves are very difficult if not impossible to control. The input valves can be used to control the whirl by selecting suitable inclination angles and/or by timing openings of the valves. The combustion process in the combustion chamber is a cycle process which at least resembles Diesel cycle. Preheated compressed air from the air tank is introduced into the combustion chamber and fuel is injected into the combustion chamber until the air-fuel mixture ignites or is ignited. The combustion of the air-fuel mixture expands its volume so the combustion products and the compressed air are expelled through the output when the output valve is opened. Running speed of the combustion cycle is controlled by controlling the input and output valves. The running speed may be chosen freely within certain limits which are defined by the properties of the system. Such properties that may limit the running speed may be for example operation speed of the valves, the air pressure in the air tank, fuel type, etc. However, the running speed may be adjusted for optimal performance in each system because it is not restricted by moving pistons or similar physical limitations of moving mass.

The combustion chamber has preferably a simple form at least in part of the combustion chamber, most preferably a cylinder form, for enabling a quick, clean and complete combustion process and simple design of the multifunction valve that is arranged to move within the combustion chamber. The simple form enables higher running temperatures which increases efficiency and decreases the amount of harmful particles and gases produced during the combustion process. The combustion chamber is arranged to function in high temperatures. In addition to the simple form, also the material of the combustion chamber has to withstand high temperatures without significant deterioration of performance or durability. The material of the combustion chamber may be ceramic, metal, alloy or preferably a combination of two or more materials. For example, the combustion chamber may comprise an alloy encasing with a ceramic inner coating. The alloy encasing withstands high pressure and strong forces while the ceramic inner coating withstands high surface temperatures. The construction of the combustion chamber is preferably arranged to withstand running temperature of 400 degrees of Celsius. In an embodiment the combustion chamber is arranged to withstand running temperature of 500, 600, 700 or 800 degrees of Celsius or more. The combustion chamber itself does not comprise any moving parts so it is relatively simple task to design the combustion chamber to withstand high temperatures. The moving parts that experience the highest thermal stress are the input valve(s) at the input of the combustion chamber and the multifunction valve in the combustion chamber. The input valves are not subjected to such high temperatures as they are cooled during each inlet cycle by incoming air. However, there are valves readily available that are designed to operate in these temperatures and therefore it should be relatively easy task to design and realize a durable input valve system. Operation of the multifunction valve is preferably designed so that the multifunctional valve has minimal necessary exposure to the combustion. Also a cooling system can be arranged for the multifunction valve.

Figures 7a to 7d illustrate a combustion chamber arrangement according to an advantageous embodiment of the invention. The combustion chamber arrangement can be used in embodiments of systems described within this document. Terms combustion chamber, input valve and output valve in any embodiment may refer to the combustion chamber arrangement. The combustion chamber arrangement comprises a combustion chamber 70 having an input valve 71 for supplying e.g. fuel, air and/or steam in the combustion chamber 70 and an output 72 for expelling combustion products from the combustion chamber 70 into a turbine, for example. Furthermore, the combustion chamber 70 comprises a multifunction valve 73, 74. The multifunction valve 73, 74 preferably comprises a valve disc 73 and a stem 74 and it is preferably operated with a linear drive for moving the valve disc 73 into various positions. The linear drive of the multifunction valve 73, 74 can be e.g. electric, pneumatic, hydraulic or mechanic.

The combustion chamber 70 may be formed of a hollow container having a centre axis X-X, a first axial end portion 70A, an opposite second axial end portion 70B, and an intermediate portion 70C between the first end portion 70A and the second end portion 70B. A first axial end of the intermediate portion 70C coincides with the first end portion 70A and a second opposite end of the intermediate portion 70C coincides with the second end portion 70B. Air and/or fuel and/or steam may be supplied to the first axial end portion 70A of the combustion chamber 70. The output 72 of the combustion chamber 70 may be positioned in the second axial end portion 70B of the combustion chamber 70. The stem 74 is attached to the valve disc 73 and protrudes out from the second axial end portion 70B of the combustion chamber 70. The multifunction valve 73, 74 is axially movable within the combustion chamber 70. The valve disc 73 divides the interior of the combustion chamber 70 into two chamber portions at each axial side of the valve disc 73. The first chamber portion is formed between the valve disc 73 and the first axial end portion 70A of the combustion chamber 70. The second chamber portion is formed between the valve disc 73 and the second axial end portion 70B of the combustion chamber 70. The first chamber portion may form a variable volume combustion chamber. The first chamber portion opens into the output 72 when the valve disc 73 moves towards the second axial end portion 70B of the combustion chamber 70. The output 72 is fully open when the valve disc 73 is in a retracted position at the second axial end portion 70B of the combustion chamber 70. The input valve 71 may direct fuel, and/or air and/or steam in the axial direction X-X to the combustion chamber 70. The output 72 expels the combustion products from the combustion chamber 70 in a radial direction i.e. in a direction perpendicular to the axial direction X-X. The output 72 is positioned on a radial outer surface of the second end portion of the combustion chamber 70. The outer perimeter of the valve disc 73 is at a small distance from the inner perimeter of the combustion chamber 70. There is thus no metal -to-metal contact between the outer perimeter of the valve disc 73 and the inner perimeter of the combustion chamber 70. The stem 74 may be hollow and the valve disc 73 may be provided with radial passages for a medium e.g. steam. The medium may thus be supplied through the stem 74 to the outer perimeter of the valve disc 73. The medium may thus work as a seal between the valve disc 73 and the combustion chamber 70. The surface of the valve disc 74 facing towards the first chamber portion may be solid. There is advantageously only a single valve disc 73 within the combustion chamber 70.

The combustion chamber arrangement is divided in three zones for clarifying its operation. Combustion zone 81 is the topmost zone shown in Figure 7b. The input valve 71 allows input to the combustion zone 81 . Figure 7c shows expansion zone 82 which is between combustion zone 81 and exhaust zone 83 shown in Figure 7d. The output 72 is arranged from the exhaust zone 83. The multifunction valve is arranged to divide and combine said zones. In topmost position of the multifunction valve, the expansion zone 82 and the exhaust zone 83 are divided from the combustion zone 81 by valve disc 73. In the middle position of the multifunction valve, the exhaust zone 83 is divided from combination of the combustion zone 81 and the expansion zone 82. In the lowest position of the multifunction valve, the combustion zone 81 , the expansion zone 82 and the exhaust zone 83 form a continuous space within the combustion chamber 70. Thus, the multifunction valve comprises a valve disc 73 and a stem 74 mounted on the valve disc 73, wherein the valve disc 73 is arranged to be movable in the combustion chamber 70 for delimiting a zone 81 , 82, 83 or combination of zones within the combustion chamber 70.

In an input phase of Figure 7a input valve 71 is open for supplying e.g. fuel, air and/or steam in the combustion chamber 70. The multifunction valve is shown in middle position wherein the combustion zone 81 and expansion zone 82 form a unitary space within the combustion chamber. Therefore the input fills both the combustion zone and the expansion zone. When input phase is completed, said space is filled with pressurized fuel, air and/or steam. Input valve 71 is closed and further rise in pressure can be achieved by moving the multifunction valve to its topmost position shown in Figure 7b so that the valve acts as a piston and compresses the input fuel mixture into the combustion zone. In other words, the multifunction valve is arranged to compress the input contents of the combustion chamber, such as fuel-air mixture, air or gas by reducing the volume of the delimited portion of the combustion chamber 70 when fuel and air has been supplied and the input valve 71 is closed.

In an embodiment the multifunction valve is in topmost position during the input phase and therefore no additional compression can be achieved with the multifunction valve.

In an embodiment the combustion chamber arrangement comprises a combustion chamber 70 for combusting fuel, an input valve 71 arranged to control an input for supplying air, means for controlling an input for supplying fuel into the combustion chamber, and an output 72 for expelling combustion products from the combustion chamber 70. The combustion chamber arrangement further comprises a multifunction valve arranged to delimit a portion of said combustion chamber 70 to a combustion zone 81 and to hinder flow of fluids from said combustion zone 81 to the output 72 prior to ignition of fuel-air mixture, and arranged to remove said delimitation and to allow flow of fluids from said combustion zone 81 to the output 72 after the ignition. Thus, an aspect of the invention is to provide a movable element between input and output, delimiting the combustion chamber at the time of ignition in Humphrey cycle engine. In an embodiment said movable element, e.g. the multifunction valve, could also be e.g. pivotally connected to a connecting rod arranged to rotate a crank shaft. Thereby converting part of the energy of the combustion process in to mechanical energy of the crankshaft which can then be used to e.g. drive an electric generator and convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy. The movable element is arranged to move linearly by using an elongated stem, an extension of the stem or an extension rod between the movable element and the connecting rod supported so that it moves linearly.

The input of fuel that is controlled can be realized with e.g. a direct fuel injection system or an input valve. The input of fuel can also be controlled with the same input valve that controls the input of air by supplying fuel-air mixture as an input.

After the input phase the fuel-air mixture ignites or is ignited and combustion of fuel mixture raises its temperature and pressure thereby expanding it rapidly. During this combustion phase the multifunction valve is allowed to retract back to the middle position allowing the combustion products to occupy expansion zone 82 in addition to the combustion zone 81 where the combustion was initiated. When multifunction valve is driven with electric linear drive, part of the energy of said expansion of fuel mixture can be converted to electric energy by using the electric linear drive as a generator during the expansion phase. The electric linear drive of the multifunction valve is thus arranged to generate electricity when the valve disc 73 and stem 74 are moved by an external force, i.e. a pressure difference over the valve disc 73. Similarly, in cases of pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical linear drives of the multifunction valve, the work done by the multifunction valve can be converted into air pressure, hydraulic pressure and mechanical work. The described embodiment having the multifunction valve connected with the connecting rod to the crankshaft is an example of mechanical linear drive of the multifunction valve even though movement of the crankshaft is rotational. Ratio between energies converted with the linear drive and the turbine can be adjusted and it is preferably optimized for maximum overall efficiency of the system.

Figure 7c illustrates the situation after retraction of the multifunction valve to the middle position. In order to reduce thermal stress to the valve disc 73, the multifunction valve can be rapidly moved from middle position to its lowest position thereby allowing the high pressure combustion products to expand to the exhaust zone 83 and exit the combustion chamber via output 72 into a turbine. One or more supports can be used in the combustion chamber to reduce or eliminate possible radial vibrations of the multifunction valve during movement between the middle position and the lowest position of the multifunction valve. In an embodiment volume of the exhaust zone 83 is minimized in order maximize the energy captured by the linear drive. The exhaust of the combustion products from the combustion chamber can be facilitated by opening the input valve 71 and supplying steam or air in high pressure which will also cool down the combustion chamber and multifunction valve, and it also provides additional energy to the turbine.

The combustion chamber 70 has preferably an inside diameter slightly larger than the valve disc 73 of the multifunction valve within the expansion zone 82, i.e. between the topmost and middle positions of the multifunction valve, in order to prevent excess leaking between inner wall of the combustion chamber and the valve disc. It is advantageous during input phase for increasing pressure within the combustion zone and expansion zone. It is also advantageous during combustion phase and expansion phase for maximizing the amount of energy that can be converted to electricity with the electric drive of the multifunction valve. However, when moving the multifunction valve to its lowest position, it can be beneficial that the combustion chamber has a larger diameter in the exhaust zone 83 than in the expansion zone 82. It facilitates the exhaust through output 72 and it can also reduce thermal stress to the valve disc 73 of the multifunction valve. In the lowermost position of the multifunction valve the valve disc 73 is preferably accommodated in a recess so that the valve disc receives only a minor amount of thermal energy from the exhaust flow of combustion products.

Sealing of a gap formed between the valve disc 73 of the multifunction valve and the inner wall of the combustion chamber 70 within the expansion zone 82, i.e. between the topmost and middle positions of the multifunction valve, can be realized with various arrangements. In an embodiment no sealing is used and thereby a small leak of pressure through the gap is allowed. Any leak past the valve disc 73 eventually flows through the output 72 to the turbine. Thus minor leaking can be tolerated in some cases. In an embodiment a ring gasket, e.g. a metal ring gasket, is used for sealing the gap. In a preferred embodiment air, liquid water and/or steam is supplied through a duct to the valve disc 73 and a flow of air, liquid water and/or steam is supplied through one or more outputs in the valve disc 73 into the gap. Said duct is preferably arranged within the stem 74 of the multifunction valve for enabling the flow of air or water, i.e. liquid water and/or steam, to the valve disc 73 and from there to the gap. The flow of air, liquid water and/or steam does not provide a perfect sealing but it has an additional benefit of cooling the multifunction valve and the combustion chamber. In addition liquid water and/or steam lubricate the gap and it helps to prevent direct contact between the valve disc and the inner wall of the combustion chamber thereby reducing mechanical wearing of them. In lowest position of the multifunction valve, the flow of air, liquid water and/or steam could be continued for cooling purposes and the flow could be captured for recirculation using inputs and ducts arranged in the recess in which the valve disc is accommodated in the lowest position. In an embodiment the valve disc 73 comprises an input and an output for cooling fluid and one or more ducts within the valve disc running between said input and output. A cooling fluid circulation through the valve disc is arranged in the lowest position of the multifunction valve for cooling the valve disc before each input phase.

A system comprising said combustion chamber valve preferably comprises multiple pressure, temperature and/or mass flow sensors for controlling the linear drive of the multifunction valve for changing the position of the multifunction valve. The controlling of the linear drive of the multifunction valve can be based on measuring data of suction side mass air flow sensor, pressure sensor and/or temperature sensor; fuel mass flow sensor; pressure sensor and/or temperature sensor in combustion chamber, prior to a turbine or after a turbine; temperature sensor and/or mass flow sensor in heat recovery unit; mass flow sensor, temperature sensor or pressure sensor of input water and/or steam; and lambda sensor. The controlling can be based on measurements of one or more of said sensors.

The output of the combustion chamber leads a stream consisting of the combustion products and the compressed air from the combustion chamber into the turbine 22. Due to the high pressure in the combustion chamber, the stream is expelled with high velocity when the output is opened. The expelling of the combustion products may be enhanced by having the output and the air input open simultaneously for a certain period of time. The turbine 22 comprises a rotor which rotates when the stream flows through the turbine. The rotating rotor drives the transmission 20 which in turn drives the power shaft 51 and the compressor 24 as stated earlier. The stream is guided to exhaust pipe 90 after the turbine and the exhaust gas 98 is released from the system. The power shaft 51 provides the output of the system and it can be connected to e.g. a drivetrain of a vehicle or an electric generator for converting the mechanical work into electric energy.

The combustion chamber 10, 70 is preferably a separate unit outside the turbine 22. The combustion products expelled from the combustion chamber 10 are guided to the turbine 22 with a pipe, tube or some other channel connecting the combustion chamber 10, 70 and the turbine 22. In an embodiment the system comprises multiple combustion chambers. In that case each combustion chamber has a pipe, tube or some other channel connecting that combustion chamber to the turbine 22. Preferably the multiple combustion chambers are arranged to expel their combustion products sequentially, i.e. not all at the same time, to provide a steadier flow of combustion products to the turbine 22. In an embodiment, the steadier flow to turbine 22 is accomplished with short, high pressure steam pulses which are injected into the combustion chamber between the expansion phases of the combustion process. In an embodiment two or more combustion chambers are arranged to expel their combustion products simultaneously in order to produce a high peak of energy to the turbine.

In an embodiment a generator driven by the power shaft 51 feeds an electric storage system which comprises one or more capacitors, super capacitors or batteries for storing the electrical energy produced by the generator. This type of system can be used in vehicular applications for producing and storing electrical energy for electrical motors of a vehicle. Also in vehicular applications the system can comprise an additional air tank or it may be connected to an air tank of the vehicle using it as a hybrid air tank for two purposes. The additional air tank may be filled with compressed air from a compressor of the electric generator system or a compressor of the vehicle. Energy from braking of the vehicle can be converted in to compressed air with the compressor of the vehicle and stored in to the additional air tank. The vehicle may also comprise an exhaust brake which can also be connected to the additional air tank for increasing the pressure of the additional air tank. The compressed air of the additional air tank can be supplied to the compressors of the electric generator system where the pressure of the air is increased to final desired level.

Now referring to Figure 2, in an embodiment the power generator system further comprises a generator 26 driven by the power shaft and a steam circulation system. The power generator system having a generator is called an electric generator system. The steam circulation system comprises a steam tank 34, a heat recovery unit 40, a heat exchanger 42, a condenser 50 and a water tank 36. In an embodiment, the steam circulation system further comprises a second turbine. Water and steam circulates in the steam circulation system wherein the water is accumulated into the water tank 36 and the steam is accumulated into the steam tank 34. In an embodiment the steam tank and the water tank is a single tank wherein the water is accumulated in the bottom of the tank and steam is accumulated on the top of the tank. The flowing of the steam is based on pressure differences within the system but it might be assisted with pumps or similar arrangement if necessary. The flowing is controlled by means of a number of valves which may be operated in controlled manner.

The steam is arranged to flow from the steam tank 34 to the heat recovery unit 40. The heat recovery unit 40 is in thermal connection with the combustion chamber 10, 70 so that the combustion chamber heats up the heat recovery unit in which the heat is conveyed to the steam flowing through the heat recovery unit. The heat recovery unit may be a separate unit having a thermal connection to the combustion chamber or it may be a fixed part of the combustion chamber. In an embodiment the heat recovery unit may even a pipework inside the combustion chamber or tubing on the surface of the combustion chamber. When the heat from the combustion chamber is conveyed to the steam flowing through the heat recovery unit, the steam rapidly heats up and expands. The steam flow is then directed to the turbine 22 wherein the steam flow rotates the rotor of the turbine 22 simultaneously with the combustion products and compressed air which are expelled from the combustion chamber 10, 70 into the turbine 22.

In an embodiment a heat pump can be used to produce steam. Heat pumps are known to be effective when needed temperature difference is small. A heat pump is therefore a good alternative for adding thermal energy to water which is at or near its boiling point. For example an air-to-water or water-to- water heat pump can be used for producing steam from water that is preheated to near or at its boiling point. The steam production can be assisted with other energy sources, including those already mentioned, in addition to the heat pump. In an embodiment steam of exhaust flow is condensed into water and the heat released from the condensing is used as a heat source for the heat pump. The temperature where the condensing takes place depends on the pressure of the exhaust gas and steam. Said temperature is 100 degrees Celsius in atmospheric pressure but in higher pressure it can be for example as high as 200, 300, 400 or even 500 degrees Celsius. The heat pump uses the heat to vaporize water for providing fresh steam to the system. In an embodiment heat provided by one or more intercoolers of the system is used as a heat source for the heat pump.

In an embodiment the heat recovery unit 40 is replaced with heat insulating material and time-dependent steam injections to the combustion chamber 10, 70 maintain a stable running temperature of the combustion chamber. The time-dependent steam injections are preferably short, high pressure steam pulses injected into the combustion chamber between expansion phases of the combustion process. The injected high pressure steam pulses need only a reduced amount of steam due to their short pulse type length. After injection the steam exits the combustion chamber and enters into the turbine 22.

In an embodiment the system comprises an additional burner for increasing the amount and/or the temperature of the steam in the system. The burner preferably uses the same type of fuel as the rest of the system. The fuel is burned in the burner for producing heat which then heats steam and/or the burning fuel heats water to produce steam. The additional burner can be used in systems which do not produce enough "waste heat" to produce an adequate amount of steam. The system is also adapted to use other external heat sources and thus heat as such or converted into compressed air or steam can be input to the system from external sources. The external source can use the same fuel or a different fuel than the combustion chamber of the system. Examples of usable heat energy from external sources can be e.g. waste heat of a heavy machine process, waste heat of a vehicle's engine or brake system, geothermal energy, etc. In an embodiment where the system produces excess heat, a portion of the heat produced by the system can be converted in an external process e.g. in Rankine process or Stirling process to mechanical work. The use of the additional burner ensures that a desired amount of steam in a desired temperature and pressure can be achieved.

In an embodiment, the steam is not directed into the same turbine 22 as the combustion products. In that embodiment the system comprises a second turbine which is dedicated to the steam stream while the (first) turbine 22 is dedicated to the stream of combustion products and compressed air. The stream of combustion products and compressed air may even be arranged to flow through an additional heat exchanger after the turbine 22 to heat up the steam stream before that stream enters the second turbine. The arrangement of the second turbine may be similar to known combined cycle power plants.

From the turbine a stream of steam, compressed air and combustion products flows through the heat exchanger 42 to the condenser 50 wherein the steam is condensed into water and the compressed air and the combustion products are guided out of the system through exhaust pipe 90. In the embodiment of the second turbine the stream of combustion products and compressed air is arranged to flow through heat exchanger 42 directly to exhaust pipe and the steam stream is arranged to flow through the heat exchanger 42 and the condenser 50 to the water tank 36.

Condensing water from the exhaust flow may cause accumulation of impurities to the system which is undesirable. In an embodiment this is solved by feeding the condenser with fresh, atmospheric air from which relatively clean water can be condensed to the system.

The water condensed from the steam and/or from the atmospheric air flows into the water tank 36 or is pumped in there. An ion exchanger 52 may be arranged between the condenser 50 and the water tank 36 for purifying the water before it enters the cycle again. The water tank 36 accumulates water which is then guided or pumped to the heat exchanger 42. The heat exchanger conveys the heat from the stream of steam, compressed air and combustion products to the water flowing through the heat exchanger. The heat of the heat exchanger vaporizes the water into steam which is then guided to flow back into the steam tank 34. From the steam tank 34 the high pressure steam can be released in short bursts to create short, high pressure pulses to the combustion chamber.

Figure 3 illustrates an electric generator system which is otherwise similar to the system of Figure 2 except that the system further comprises a pump having a converging-diverging nozzle, for example an injector or ejector 12 for combining the stream of combustion products from the combustion chamber 10, 70 and the steam from the heat recovery unit 40 or from the heat exchanger 42 wherein the ejector 12 guides the steam and combustion products into the turbine 22 for rotating the rotor of the turbine. The pump having a converging-diverging nozzle is called an ejector within the description but in an embodiment the pump can also be for example an injector, steam injector or steam ejector. The ejector 12 is between the turbine and the combustion chamber and its heat recovery unit. The combustion products and the compressed air are expelled into the ejector wherein the steam from the heat recovery unit is superheated by the hot matter from the combustion chamber. The superheating of the steam causes rapid expansion of the steam. The ejector 12 guides the stream of superheated steam, combustion products and compressed air into the turbine 22 wherein the stream rotates the rotor of the turbine. In an embodiment, short, high pressure steam pulses are injected into the ejector 12 from where the steam flows to the turbine and rotates the rotor or the turbine. In an embodiment an afterburner can be used in the ejector 12 between the combustion chamber 10 and the turbine 22. However, the temperature of the exhaust gas has to be monitored and controlled since the input gas of the turbine should preferably have a low temperature and the afterburner rises the temperature of the exhaust gas. In an embodiment the afterburner is used intermittently and not continuously.

In an embodiment the system also comprises an adjustable nozzle and a valve in connection with the ejector 12 and the output of the combustion chamber 10, 70 for adjusting the expelling of combustion products from the combustion chamber 10, 70. The nozzle has a certain design and a form which may be altered. The nozzle is within the ejector in a by-pass flow of the steam flowing from the heat recovery unit 40 to the turbine 22. The form of the nozzle has a significant impact to the expelling of the combustion products from the combustion chamber when the valve in the output is open. By altering the form of the nozzle the expelling of the combustion products may be increased with help of the by-pass flow of the steam.

In an embodiment a portion of the combustion products, i.e. the exhaust gas, is guided to a low temperature/pressure region of the turbine 22 or to a low pressure turbine when the exhaust gas is exhaust from the combustion chamber. An ejector or ejectors 14a, 14bcan be omitted in this embodiment since the pressure in suction side is higher than the pressure in low temperature/pressure region.

Figure 4 illustrates a detail of an embodiment of a combustion system having two combustion chambers 10a and 10b and an ejector 12. The number of combustion chambers and ejectors is not limited to this example. Two combustion chambers and one ejector were chosen for this embodiment to give an example and represent the capabilities of the system. In an embodiment the electric combustion system has one, two, three, four or more combustion chambers and zero, one, two, three, four or more ejectors. In an embodiment the ejectors are not essential and the system can operate without a single ejector.

Each combustion chamber 10a, 10b comprises one or more inputs 101 , 102 which can be controlled with or without input valves and one or more outputs 1 1 1 , 1 12 which can be open or controlled with output valves. The inputs and the outputs may be controlled without valves by controlling the pressure of the inputs and outputs because gases tend to flow from a higher pressure region to a lower pressure region. In an embodiment at least some of the inputs and outputs are controlled with gas vibrations or oscillations instead of valves. Movement of gas in a pipeline tends to oscillate with a frequency or a plurality of frequencies which is/are specific to the pipeline and the gas, so called eigenfrequencies. The pulse action is created by the periodic combustion and fortified by the eigenfrequencies of the flow system. Specific oscillation frequencies can be exploited by controlling the periodic combustion process to match the frequency of the specific gas oscillation so that these amplify each other. In an embodiment the combustion cycle is matched with the specific oscillation frequency of the compressed air flowing in the system. In an embodiment valve actuation is optimized to harmonize with the desired periodical operation of the pulse turbine. In an embodiment the combustion cycle, the specific oscillation frequency of the compressed air flowing in the system and a specific oscillation frequency of the steam flowing in the system are all matched to the same phase so that they amplify each other. The specific oscillation frequencies of the steam and the compressed air flows can be matched with pipeline design. In an embodiment the combustion cycle is matched with the specific oscillation frequency of the compressed air flowing in the system and with the specific oscillation frequency of the steam flowing in the system but the specific frequencies of the steam and the compressed air are not matched with each other. Preferably the flow system is optimized such that the flow losses are minimized.

In an embodiment the system comprises compressors connected in series to produce high pressure compressed air to the combustion chamber. A typical way is to feed compressed air from the first compressor to the second compressor and from the second compressor to the third compressor, and so on. The pressure of the compressed air builds up in each compressor stage and finally the compressed air from the last compressor of the series of compressors is released to the combustion chamber or to the air chamber. This is energy consuming as the amount (mass) of compressed air is the same in each compressing stage. A compressing stage can be a single compressor or a number of compressors in parallel connection i.e. each having common input and output. In an embodiment serially connected screw compressors can share a common shaft so that successive compression stages are partitioned along the common shaft and intercoolers are provided between each compression stages to extract heat from the compressed gas. Compressed air from any compression stage can be directed to flow into a combustion chamber 10, 70, air chamber, air tank 32 or some other part of the system. In an embodiment a portion of the mass of the compressed air is released to the combustion chamber and the remaining portion of the mass of the compressed air is released to the following compressor in the series of compressors. The pressure within the combustion chamber rises gradually as the compressed air is released to the combustion chamber between compressing stages. Heat can be extracted from the compressed air between the compressing stages by using one or more intercoolers. Also the amount of air to be compressed diminishes in subsequent compressing stages as part of the air is released to the combustion chamber between the compressing stages. A plurality of pressure tanks can be used for storing compressed air in various pressures between atmospheric pressure and the highest pressure from the last compressor. A further advantage is that the gradual air feeding allows the other inputs to be fed to the combustion chamber during a desired pressure. For example the combustion chamber could first receive a first release of compressed air, then a fuel input, then a second release of compressed air, then a steam input and finally a third release of compressed air to a desired final pressure. The order and timing of the inputs can be optimized based on the system variables.

In an embodiment the combustion chamber is arranged to work in two alternating cycles. The first cycle may be any of the combustion cycles, i.e. a topping cycle, where fuel is fed to the combustion chamber as described within this document. The second cycle is a cooling cycle, i.e. a bottoming cycle, wherein the combustion chamber is cooled by means of arranging a flow of fluid, such as ambient air, steam or some other gas, through the combustion chamber. Cooling the combustion chamber transfers thermal energy from the combustion chamber to the fluid flowing through the combustion chamber and thus makes the combustion chamber less warm. Both cycles may take an equal amount of time. In an embodiment the first cycle is longer than the second cycle or the first cycle is shorter than the second cycle.

Figure 6 illustrates an embodiment wherein the combustion chamber is arranged to work with various available energy sources in order to achieve a desired effect. Typical desired effects include fuel economy and temperature control and power control. For example, the turbine has a temperature limit for input gas to protect the turbine but typically higher combustion temperatures give better fuel economy. The turbine input temperature limits the efficiency of the system when the combustion chamber operates only with high temperature topping cycles. A vast supply of compressed air or steam from e.g. waste heat or external sources enables use of higher combustion temperatures and pressures in topping cycles when the available air or steam can be used in bottoming cycles after topping cycles to lower the average input gas temperature to the turbine. In figure 6 solid line illustrates pressure achieved with combustion of fuel in topping cycle and dotted line illustrates pressure achieved with input of compressed air or steam to the combustion chamber in bottoming cycle. Cycles tci and t C 5 are topping cycles in which fuel is combusted and t C 2, t C 3, tc4 and tc6 are bottoming cycles in which fuel is not combusted. In tci the combustion of fuel is supplemented with short injections of compressed gas or steam after ignition of fuel. This enables use of higher temperatures in topping cycles and therefore results higher efficiency and better fuel economy. If an external source generates plenty of heat which is converted into steam, the system can be run with the steam for extended periods of time without using any fuel during that period. Preferably the available energy from different sources is constantly monitored with sensors and decision between topping cycle and bottoming cycle is preferably made each time based on e.g. available energy sources and required power. The topping and bottoming cycles can be used simultaneously, with a phase difference to each other, in alternating order or following a pattern. This can be achieved with control hardware and software well known in the art by programming the control system to follow these rules and conditions.

In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises an output controlled by a main exhaust valve 1 1 1 . In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises two outputs, one output being controlled by a main exhaust valve 1 1 1 and one output being controlled by an auxiliary exhaust valve 1 12. In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises an open output which is not controlled by valve. In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises an input 101 for fuel. In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises inputs 101 , 102 for fuel and pressurized air. In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises inputs for fuel, pressurized air and steam. In an embodiment each combustion chamber comprises inputs for one or more of the following: fuel, pressurized air, steam and water. The steam may be produced at least partially using waste heat of the combustion process of the system. In an embodiment, the steam is injected in the form of short, high pressure steam pulses which are injected into the combustion chamber between the expansion phases of the combustion process. In this embodiment, the exhaust valves may be omitted as the pressure and temperature conditions of the combustion chamber are controlled with the steam pulse injections. In an embodiment steam is injected into combustion chamber and/or to the ejector 12 and to the turbine 22. When both combustion chambers outputs are closed, steam can be injected directly into the ejector 12. In an embodiment, an ORC turbine or a Stirling engine can be used after the heat exchanger for cooling the exhaust gas and steam in a temperature range of about 200 degrees Celsius.

A combustion cycle in the system of Figure 4 could have the following steps. First pressurized air is fed to the combustion chambers 10a, 10b via air inputs 102 and fuel is fed to the combustion chambers 10a, 10b via fuel inputs 101 . In an embodiment fuels, especially gaseous fuels, can be compressed prior to feeding them into the combustion chamber. Fuels like for example carbon monoxide or hydrogen can be fed in a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure to the combustion chamber. The pressure in the combustion chambers is built up due to residue heat and possibly with multifunction valve until the fuel in the combustion chambers ignites, for example at 2 to 3 MPa pressure, and produces combustion products and more pressure. The multifunction valve is moved to its lowest position and the combustion products and the pressure are released to the ejector 12 by opening the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 between a combustion chamber 10a and the ejector 12. In an embodiment the main exhaust valve is omitted and the combustion products move freely to the ejector 12 after the multifunction valve is moved to its lowest position. In an embodiment a pressure wave supercharger replaces the main exhaust valve. Preferably the combustion cycles in each combustion chamber runs with a phase difference to the other combustion chambers so that the exhaust stream from the combustion chambers is steadier and less pulse-like. The combustion products flow from the combustion chamber to the ejector 12 and from ejector to turbine 22 through an output 1 13. At the same time, liquid water and/or water vapour i.e. steam can be injected to the combustion chamber 10a via inputs and/or multifunction valve, thus improving the ventilation of the combustion products out of the combustion chamber. Preferably steam is injected into the combustion chamber in short pulses with high steam pressure, for example ranging from several MPa to ten Mpa. The injection of steam also helps to keep the pressure in an elevated level for an extended period of time as can be seen from Figure 5. The injection of water and/or steam also lowers the temperature of the combustion chamber and facilitates temperature controlling. The combustion chamber may have ducts formed within combustion chamber cover for water and/or steam circulation on exhaust side of the combustion chamber. One or more of the ducts of the combustion chamber may be connected to ducts of the multifunction valve. The water and/or steam can be injected into the ducts which water and/or steam then perspirates from small apertures of the ducts. Heat is transferred from the exhaust side of the combustion chamber to the perspirating injected water and/or steam and the combustion chamber cools down. In an embodiment similar ducts and cooling system is used on the main exhaust valve. The injection lowers the temperature of the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 which can extend the lifetime of the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 . When the pressure in the combustion chamber and in the ejector has dropped, for example to 4 to 5 MPa, the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 is closed. One or more of the valves may be electronically controlled for example via a control unit. In an embodiment the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 can be omitted when steam pulses are injected into the combustion chamber so the main exhaust output is controlled solely with the multifunction valve. In an embodiment including the main exhaust valve, after closing the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 the ejector can be sprayed with liquid water and/or water vapour i.e. steam via valve 103 which raise the pressure in the ejector 12, for example to 6,5 MPa. At a certain pressure in the ejector 12, for example 6,5 MPa, the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 of the second combustion chamber 10b opens and releases combustion products to the ejector 12 and from there to the turbine 22. At the same time the secondary exhaust valve 1 12 of the first combustion chamber 10a is kept open to ventilate the residue combustion products from the first combustion chamber 10a. The ventilation can be enhanced by introducing pressurized air or steam via the inputs 101 , 102 to the combustion chamber. The secondary exhaust valve 1 12 may lead the residue combustion products to the turbine 22 via one or more second ejectors 14a, 14b. In an embodiment steam is injected into combustion chamber and/or to the ejector 12 and to the turbine 22. When both combustion chambers outputs are closed, steam can be injected directly into the ejector 12. In an embodiment a single second ejector can comprise multiple inputs so that it can be used with two combustion chambers. Once the first combustion chamber 10a is ventilated and the pressure has dropped to a sufficiently low level, for example to 2, 1 , 0,5 or 0,2 MPa, the secondary exhaust valve 1 12 is closed and the next cycle of the combustion cycle can begin.

In an embodiment the second ejector 14a, 14b is arranged to receive motive steam or motive gas via input 1 14. The motive gas is preferably pressurized water vapour for example in 6, 8 or 10 MPa pressure. The motive gas is directed through the second ejector 14a, 14b and discharged to the ejector 12 via valve 104. When the motive gas goes through the second ejector it creates a suction effect drawing residue combustion products from a combustion chamber 10a, 10b when output valve 1 12 connecting the combustion chamber to the second ejector is open. The valve 104 is preferably a control valve. The throughput and/or opening direction of the valve 104 can be adjusted. In an embodiment all excess steam produced within the system can be fed to the turbine via the valve 104 and/or the second ejector 14a, 14b.

In an embodiment a back flow from the turbine 22 using an intermediate steam tapping can be introduced to a third ejector. The back flow or the intermediate steam from the turbine may comprise steam or combustion products or a mixture of steam and combustion products which are introduce to the third ejector. The pressure of the intermediate steam at the third ejector is raised to a sufficient level by using valves and introducing gas such as water vapour to the third ejector. The steam and the combustion products increase the volume of the gas and decrease the temperature of the gas. The mixture of gases is introduced from the third ejector to the ejector 12 for example via the second ejector 14a, 14b and valve 104, or to some other input valve of the system. In an embodiment, an output using an intermediate steam tapping can also be introduced right after the heat exchanger.

In an embodiment the turbine is arranged to rotate a by-pass fan in an aviation application for example replacing turbofan engines of commercial airplanes. In an embodiment the system comprises an oxygen tank connected to the combustion chamber and controlled with a valve. The combustion chamber can be used as a combustion chamber of rocket engine using rocket fuel from the fuel tank and oxygen from the atmosphere in the lower atmosphere so that the oxygen from the oxygen tank can be used in the upper atmosphere where the amount of oxygen is not sufficient for the combustion.

Figure 5 illustrates time dependence of pressure in a system according to an embodiment. As the combustion cycle causes the pressure to change within the system in rather broad range, the turbine 22 does not receive optimal input unless the system in controlled in a time-dependent manner. Preferably all the inputs 101 , 102, 103, 104 are controlled in time- dependent manner to keep the output 1 13 to the turbine in optimal pressure. Without any other time-dependent inputs than fuel and air, the output to the turbine would look like the curve 200 in Figure 5. In the beginning of the combustion cycle the pressure builds up quickly peaking just before the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 is opened or the multifunction valve is moved to its lowest position in absence of the main exhaust valve, which quickly lowers the pressure as the combustion products flow through the turbine. Now if the combustion chamber is injected with liquid water and/or water vapour immediately after the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 or the multifunction valve is opened, the pressure would not fall as quickly because the liquid water would evaporate and the vapour would heat up due to residue heat of the combustion chamber and thus the injection would lessen the impact of opening the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 or the multifunction valve. In a similar manner, once the main exhaust valve 1 1 1 or the multifunction valve has been closed, the ejector can be sprayed with liquid water and/or water vapour i.e. steam via valve 103 which raise the pressure in the ejector 12 thus raising the output pressure to the turbine. The amount of liquid water, steam and air is controlled in a time- dependent manner in order to prevent the output to the turbine from dropping too much. Keeping the output to the turbine in an elevated and relatively constant level has a significant impact on the efficiency of the system. The turbine can be driven in optimal operating range most of the time with a relatively constant output whereas the turbine can not make the most out of sparse, short bursts.

The output to the turbine can be maintained in an elevated level with the injection of water, steam and air. This elevated level is illustrated with dashed line 201 in Figure 5. However, a lot of steam and air is needed to maintain such a high pressure if the main exhaust valve is omitted or kept constantly open. If the injection of steam is in the form of very short and high pressure pulses, the main exhaust valve can be omitted thus simplifying the system and increasing its reliability. Curve 202 represents the pressure level during a combustion cycle when the injections are in the form of short steam pulses. The short steam pulses can maintain the average pressure at a high enough level that the main exhaust valve is not necessary. The short steam pulses may have peak pressure higher than the pressure pulse caused by the combustion. In an embodiment of e.g. two combustion chambers, short steam pulses can be fed to the system (e.g. to the first combustion chamber) after fuel is ignited and combustion products expelled from the first combustion chamber. The feeding of steam pulses can be continued while an exhaust valve of the second combustion chamber is closed. During that time any residue steam and combustion products are flushed from the second combustion chamber. The second combustion chamber is flushed with an input of compressed air which flows through e.g. a secondary exhaust valve 1 12 which then conveys the air and the residues to e.g. lower pressure turbine. After the flushing the second combustion chamber is filled with compressed air, fuel is injected to the second combustion chamber and the mixture ignites or is ignited. After the fuel is ignited and combustion products expelled from the second combustion chamber, short steam pulses can be fed to the system (e.g. to the second combustion chamber) while the exhaust valve or the multifunction valve of the first combustion chamber is closed, the first combustion chamber is flushed, filled and ignited like the second combustion chamber earlier, and so on. This enables high enough pressure for efficient use of the turbine throughout the process. In an embodiment the pressure within the ejector 12 is kept always over for example 2, 3, 4 or 5 MPa. In an embodiment the amount of injected water, steam and air and point of time at which those are injected are determined based on measured quantities of the system. Such measured quantities can be for example temperature, pressure, humidity, gas composition, state of a valve or some other process quantity. Said quantities can be measured with e.g. sensors. In an embodiment the amount of injected water, steam and air and point of time at which those are injected are determined based on the phase of the combustion cycle. The time dependent injection of water, steam also increases the reliability of the turbine 22 by controlling the temperature of the gas which is introduced to the turbine 22. The injection of water and steam lowers the average temperature of the gas introduced to the turbine and therefore it allows for higher pressure (and thus higher temperature) to be used in the combustion chamber.

In an embodiment the power generator system is used together with a turbocharged combustion engine. The power generator system can feed supplemental energy to the turbocharger of the combustion engine which can be beneficial in three ways. First, the pressure ratio of the turbocharger can be controlled regardless of running speed (rpm) and/or load of the combustion engine. This is beneficial in controlling emissions and pollutants of the combustion engine and it also improves load response of the combustion engine. Also the compressor belonging to the pulse turbine system can be used for supplying the input of air. Second, the system may provide output of mechanical power from a shaft of the turbocharger or the turbine of the power generator system which provides an additional power which depends on the amount of additional energy fed to the system. Third, the power generator system can use at least part of the exhaust flow of the combustion engine s an energy source. Also the input of air to the combustion chamber can be arranged with air supply system of the combustion engine as such or supplemented with additional air supply pump, such as Roots blower. Also a compressor of the power generator system can be used for supplying the input of air.

It will be obvious to a person skilled in the art that, as the technology advances, the inventive concept can be implemented in various ways. The invention and its embodiments are not limited to the examples described above but may vary within the scope of the claims.