Cosworth’s ‘Cat Gen’ Gas Turbine Jet Engine For Cars: What Is It?

Cosworth, the British company that has produced both racing and sports cars, engines and a myriad of racing components, has developed what it calls a catalytic generator, or “Cat Gen”. Any system that uses batteries, motors, and power sources to propel it can use it. The Cat Gen extends the line to make electric drive motors even more efficient. And it does this at a constant power of 35 kW.

The inherent trade-offs of gas and electric systems can be improved upon, Cosworth says. The turbogenerator is small, extremely low in pollution, light, simple and uses existing components and materials. It is therefore a solution that currently exists.

How does the Cat Gen interface with the motor and batteries?

Cosworth Cat Gen Turbine Engine | Cosworth

The faster you go, the more drag occurs. So the Cat Gen increases the amount of energy used for electric and gasoline propulsion in hybrid technology, no matter how fast you run. As electric vehicles improve, this will become less of an issue. But EV technology still has a ways to go once you factor in the added battery weight, infrastructure, and extra costs to buy them.

It does not directly power the drive motor as it only generates electricity for the batteries. This works especially well for short trips and trucks with port destinations. That’s because it takes over to eliminate stop/start, low speeds and long periods of idling.

If it uses the same fuel as the engine, how can it be cleaner?

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Cosworth Cat Gen Turbine Engine | Cosworth

How it works is that a chemical reaction of air and fuel still occurs, just like with a gasoline engine, but at much lower temperatures. The higher the combustion temperature of the air/fuel mixture, the more emissions are produced. By electrically heating the area where combustion occurs, the vehicle can produce a quick start, even in cold weather.

Because the unit is so small, the components needed to create it are relatively inexpensive. And there’s no exhaust cleaning, so there’s less weight from catalytic converters and air pumps. And the batteries needed for an EV system are smaller because the Cat Gen provides them with constant electrical flow. They therefore do not need to store as much energy.

Does the Cat Gen only work for electric vehicles?

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Cosworth Cat Gen Turbine Engine | Cosworth

For hydrogen applications, the hydrogen reacts with the air in the turbine, producing electricity without any emissions. And the quality of the hydrogen need not be at the level of typical hydrogen applications, greatly increasing the cost of processing it.

Besides electric vehicles and trucks, boats and planes can also benefit from turbine technology. Battery powered flight does not work with large cells. This therefore reduces the size of electric motors and batteries to make this technology more viable. Any fuel in liquid or gaseous state can be used, so lack of a certain fuel will not affect the trip.

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