Micro power converters for energy recovery are increasingly important for a number of future applications. The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) is presently developing an innovative μ-scale turbine expander for work recovery in transcritical CO2 heat pumps. The main drawback of a lower COP (coefficient of performance) of transcritical CO2 heat pumps compared to conventional heat pump systems can be compensated by utilizing the pressure difference between the high pressure and low pressure part of the pump for work recovery. Work recovery can be realized by substituting the expansion valve between the high and low pressure side by a Pelton turbine with specific two phase flow turbine blades. In order to increase the power output, the generator was integrated into the turbine to reduce the friction losses and hence increase the overall efficiency. An important aspect is that the generator is directly connected with the high pressure part of the turbine. One part of the project is the optimization of the turbine geometry via simulation tools. The paper will give an overview about our microturbine development as well as a comparison of the power output of each turbine generation. Furthermore the present paper discusses a concept that utilizes our microturbine together with a micro combustion module that enables a micro power generator with very high power-to-weight ratios based on green fuels.

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