Ramgen Business Overview
Ramgen Power Systems, LLC (“Ramgen”) is a privately-held research and development company, focused on unique energy-related applications of supersonic aircraft technology.
Supersonic aircraft engines use the effect shock waves generated by the speed of the incoming air, acting on their ramp-like engine inlet systems, to produce high levels of compression at exceptionally high efficiencies. These systems have been refined and proven in countless flight applications over the last 50 years.
Ramgen’s primary innovation is the application of these supersonic flight inlet concepts and methods to ground-based air and gas compression applications. As is the case with many breakthrough technologies, Ramgen’s key advancements have occurred in the void that exists between those who practice aircraft & aerospace vehicle design and those who design turbomachinery; two communities that rarely interact.
In addition, Ramgen is also developing analogous supersonic planar expansion nozzle and unique high velocity combustor technologies. These technologies can have stand alone markets as products themselves, used as components in other products, and when combined, they comprise the principal components of a gas turbine engine.
Ramgen’s technologies and know-how are being applied toward three commercial applications:
1. CO2 Compressor for large-scale Carbon
Capture & Storage Systems
The Ramgen advanced CO2 compressor is an important element in reducing the cost of large scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) systems. Capturing and storing the CO2 from fossil fuel is essential for addressing Climate Change and reducing the cost of these systems required to sustain economic growth. In addition, by lowering harmful emission from fossil fuels available in the U.S., national security is enhanced.
Ramgen’s compression technology has unique technical and commercial advantages when applied as a CO2 compressor. The Ramgen CO2 compressor is projected to reduce the capital costs of CO2 compression by 50% and produce a minimum of 25% operating cost savings.
Applying these cost savings to a new 400 MW clean coal plant would result in capital cost savings of approximately $22.0 million and in annual operating cost savings of approximately $5.0 million. There is a multi-billion dollar per year potential market for Ramgen’s CO2 compressor technology for use in enhanced oil recovery and geological sequestration, both considered effective and necessary CCS techniques.
Ramgen has successfully demonstrated the “proof-of-concept” of its compression technology and has created an advanced set of analysis tools for developing these application specific products. The information produced by these tools provides compelling evidence that Ramgen’s shock wave compression technology can be commercially viable.
Ramgen has also developed and successfully demonstrated its advanced vortex combustion technology (“AVC”) at the U. S. Government’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (“NETL”). This patented dry-low NOx technology offers the potential for sub-3 ppmv emission levels for new and “drop-in” retrofit applications in conventional gas turbine power plants, as well as a 3-5 percentage point improvement in engine efficiency. Its unprecedented stability and ability to handle high throughput velocities also offers promise as a low emissions combustor on hydrogen and hydrogen-rich fuels. These markets are substantial and global.
Ramgen has successfully completed a number of contracts with the Defense Advance Research Programs Agency (“DARPA”) to conduct preliminary engineering work on a new Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). This unit combines the advantages of Ramgen’s compressor, combustor and expander technologies into a unique airborne gas turbine APU platform that doubles the power to weight ratio vs. conventional gas turbine designs. Tests at the Air Force Research Laboratory confirmed that the combustor is able to respond to the very rapid load changes associated with advanced weapons systems without having to rely on heavy, “UPS-like” battery, capacitor and load-bank sub-systems. Military applications for this system include advanced weapons systems support, electric propulsion and power systems, and transportable stationary power generation. Dual use civilian applications would include distributed power generation and grid support.
Founded as a Washington State corporation, Ramgen received its first significant funding in 1998, and since that time has received more than $22 million in private funds and $30 million in government contract revenues from the Department of Energy (“DOE”) and the Department of Defense (“DoD”).
The DOE was among the first to recognize the significance of Ramgen’s efforts and their early and ongoing support has been critical to our success. Their insights and financial support have enabled Ramgen to work to develop needed solutions to the combined goals of energy security and Climate Change.
Ramgen has been guided by a long-term management team that takes pride in its ability to adapt to changing opportunities and delivering results. Ramgen has been successful in attracting and retaining a world-class team of scientists and engineers that includes experienced professionals from Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Caterpillar/Solar, Ingersoll-Rand and Rocketdyne. Ramgen has also developed a network of consultants, government scientists and academic advisors that greatly leverages the intellectual and experience base being applied to advance the development of its technologies.
To the best of Ramgen’s knowledge, no other company is currently
undertaking significant research and development using supersonic shock
wave technology in a stationary platform. Ramgen possesses extensive and
growing protection on its innovations and inventions, and continues to
strengthen its intellectual property position on an ongoing basis. Ramgen
filed its first patent application in 1992, and since that time, eleven
U. S. and three foreign patents are in force, with three U. S. and seven
foreign or international patent applications pending. These patents and
applications include claims covering both general processes and specific
techniques relating to its work