In the interest of a decentralized power supply: The mathematician Nikita Kostyuchenko has reinvented the steam turbine.
How old, Mr. Kostyuchenko, is the concept of the steam turbine?
The first machines that converted heat into power with a turbine date back to the second half of the 19th century. Since then, they’ve only been optimized. But, now, I think we are taking a big step forward.
In what way?
We’ve managed to make the turbine dimmable to some extent. It can produce constant electricity even with an inconstant heat flow. This allows completely new applications in a decentralized power supply. Steam turbines the size of suitcases could, for example, produce electricity from waste heat generated by private households or trucks.
Theoretically, it works; the patent is pending. But, will the dimmable turbine also work in reality?
We have carried out physical simulations with our construction plans. The results show that we are on the right track.
How does a 27-year-old mathematician come to reinvent the steam turbine?
I was on holiday in Finland with my partner and a friend who is an engineer. At the campfire, we came up with the idea of an adjustable steam turbine. My girlfriend – a climate scientist – was thrilled, because a better use of waste heat could save a lot of energy.
Your main job is as a risk analyst for an insurance company. Will you stay in this job?
We are currently working on the prototype. It should be available by 2020. After that, I’ll see what happens.