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You are here: > News > April 25, 2005

Jirnov Vortex Engine Supported by U.S. Navy

25 kW prototype shown to have strong torque, using half the energy, with half the emissions.  $1 million grant awarded General Vortex Energy by the Navy to build 125-kW prototype. Nine U.S. patents.

Compiled by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2005

Courtesy: General Vortex Energy Inc. (GVE Inc)
GVE Inc and U.S. Navy engineers test the Jirnov Vortex engine prototype with a dynamometer.

HOUSTON, TX, USA -- With funding from the U.S. Navy, a team of Russian scientists and a Houston start-up are developing a robust and revolutionary new engine technology that is alleged to be far superior to present internal-combustion engines.

Operating out of a warehouse in Houston, the principals of General Vortex Energy Inc. claim their Jirnov Vortex Turbine (JVT) can burn any kind of gaseous or liquid fuel at twice the efficiency of other engines and with far lower emissions.

The device was named after Dr. Alexei Jirnov, who came to the U.S. from Russia around 1990 to continue his research at the University of Houston. Dr. Anatoli Borissov came to U.S. as the Fulbright Professor for lecturing at the Department of Aerospace at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1993. Then he was invited to work for the University of Houston where he met Dr. Jirnov and they start to work on thermodynamics of a new engine. Along with Borissov's brother and a local entrepreneur, they formed General Vortex in 2002.

Like traditional gas turbine engines, the Jirnov Vortex turbine has a combustion chamber, a positive displacement compressor and turbine, and a heat exchanger. In the JVT, each of these is modified from conventional designs, for greater efficiency.

"The heart of the design," according to Borissov, is in the thermodynamic cycle. "We use a modified Brighton cycle. The heat recuperation gives us an added 10% to 15% efficiency; and our isothermal compression technology gives us another 10% to 15% increase in efficiency."

The JVT runs at only 1,800 to 3,600 RPMs while delivering the same amount of energy as the conventional counterparts that spin many times faster than that. The increase in combustion efficiency comes from the "vortex flow" design in the combustion chamber.  The new aerodynamics behave "like a tornado," explains Borissov. The fuel is sucked into a "vortex" in the combustion chamber whose physical aerodynamics enable a more thorough vaporization and mixing of the molecules.  This results in far less wasted fuel and correspondingly reduces emissions.

GVE Inc claims the JVT is 58 percent to 70 percent fuel-efficient, depending on air temperature from the combustion chamber.  In comparison, coal or steam combustion runs around 30 percent, gas turbines at 35 percent, and 20 percent for auto engines, while fuel cells run at around 50 percent fuel-efficiency, converting the fuel into energy.

In 2003, the Department of Naval Research awarded GVE Inc $100,000 to build a 25-kW prototype.  Pleased by the results, the Office of Naval Research then provided General Vortex with a million-dollar grant to build a scaled up 125-kW prototype.  When completed, it will undergo extensive tests at a Navy facility. If that performs along the lines of the first prototype, General Vortex could receive a purchase order and a $3 million grant from the Navy to establish a production facility.

The deadline for completion of the 125-kW prototype is March 2006.  Presently, two of the four components have been built and are being tested.  The heat exchanger and the expander have been built, and are testing out "very good according to design specifications," said Borissov.  They are using parts from the earlier prototype to run the tests on the new components.

Representatives of GVE Inc. say the vortex turbine could one day replace most of the internal combustion engines and gas turbines now extant in the power industry.

Several other claims for the engine also have intrigued the Navy:

  • Can burn virtually any kind of gaseous or liquid fuel.

  • Combustion is at a relatively low temperature (less than 2,600F).

  • Flat torque curve.

  • Allows re-use of power sources like excess hydrogen from fuel cells

  • Produces half the CO2 of conventional turbines.

  • Produces very low NOx and CO emissions.

  • Quiet operation.

  • Low weight-to-power ratio.

  • Simple to build and easy to maintain.

  • Long operating time between overhauls.

Because of its low rotational speed, the JVT has a very low acoustic signature.  Having a flat torque curve, it has the ability to function without gearboxes.

One reason the Navy is so interested in the JVT is because the power systems of ships at sea run all the time. "Efficiency is extremely important on a ship that generates power 24/7," explains Anatoli Borissov, the President and CEO of GVE Inc. "If the ship is carrying less fuel, it can move a lot faster and save money."

The JVT has a large market as a power source for ships, automobiles, compressors, refrigeration equipment, military vehicles, electrical generation and hundreds of other applications. The annual worldwide market for engines or gas turbines used for motive power is estimated to be $235 billion. Utilized with fuel cells, the JVT will allow for the hybrid fuel cell industry to explode.

Many companies have expressed interest in this design, and are watching and waiting to see how the scale-up to the larger prototype turns out. At this point, GVE Inc is not pursuing license arrangements. They want to continue tests and developing of the JVT until they obtain engine design parameters.

Meanwhile, GVE Inc. is developing means to use after-market auto parts to manufacture the JVT with up to 1 megawatt power output, using the resources in their own facility on a limited scale.

# # #

Keywords: Sliding vane isothermal compressor/expander.

- Dr. Anatoli Borissov proof-read the above story April 25, 2005.
- Adrian Akau provided source material.
- Mary-Sue Haliburton provided editorial input.



Anatoli Borissov <email >
CEO, General Vortex Energy, Inc.
1306 FM 1092 STE 403
Missouri City, TX 77459-1565
(713) 202-2985

Nine U.S. Patents by Jirnov, et. al

Figure 1, U.S. Patent 6,523,347

U.S.Patent Date Title
6,523,347 February 25, 2003 Thermodynamic power system using binary working fluid
6,349,551 February 26, 2002 Thermodynamic power and cryogenic refrigeration system using low temperature heat source
6,161,392 December 19, 2000 Combined thermodynamic power and cryogenic refrigeration system using binary working fluid
5,996,355 December 7, 1999 Thermodynamic closed cycle power and cryogenic refrigeration apparatus using combined work medium
5,839,270 November 24, 1998 Sliding-blade rotary air-heat engine with isothermal compression of air
5,758,501 June 2, 1998 Sliding-blade vapor engine with vortex boiler
5,713,210 February 3, 1998 Sliding-blade refrigeration apparatus and method
5,558,509 September 24, 1996 Sliding-blade water jet propulsion apparatus for watercraft
5,511,525 April 30, 1996 Sliding-blade heat engine with vortex combustion chamber

Additional References

  • Anatoli A. Borissov, Alexander A. Borissov and Kenneth K. Kramer, HIGH EFFICIENCY ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM BASED ON MODIFIED BRAYTON CYCLE.  Proceedings of the 2005 Spring Technical Conference of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, Internal Combustion Engine Division, Proceedings of ICES2005, ASME Internal Combustion Engine Division 2005 Spring Technical Conference, April 5-7, 2005, Chicago, IL, USA.

  • A. Jirnov, A. Borissov and J. McCoy, Jr., The description of a combined thermodynamic power system using a two-phase fluid and air as working fluids. Proceedings of the 2001 Spring Technical Conference of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, Internal Combustion Engine Division, U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Vol. 3, pp.47-60, 2001.

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Apr. 13, 2005
Last updated December 24, 2014





"It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom." // "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." -- Albert Einstein

ADVISORY: With any technology, you take a high risk to invest significant time or money unless (1) independent testing has thoroughly corroborated the technology, (2) the group involved has intellectual rights to the technology, and (3) the group has the ability to make a success of the endeavor.
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When you're two steps ahead,
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