line drawing of blue circle with a green power plant representing the STEP Demo Power Plant Efficiency icon

Power Plant Efficiency

Compared to conventional steam-based power plants, power plants using sCO2 technology will see substantially higher efficiencies to convert heat into power. This translates into lower emissions.

Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycles are Brayton cycles that utilize supercritical CO2 as working fluid to convert heat into power. They offer the potential for higher system efficiencies compared to other energy conversion technologies such as steam Rankine cycles which are used in conventional power plants, especially when operating at elevated temperatures. It is the unique properties of supercritical CO2 that offer intrinsic benefits over steam as a working fluid to absorb thermal energy, to be compressed, and to impart momentum to a turbine. This higher efficiency results in lower cost and lower emissions for the same amount of power produced.

sCO2 power cycles are being considered for a wide range of applications including fossil-fired systems, waste heat recovery, concentrated solar power, and nuclear. It is expected that the STEP Demo project will achieve a 50% cycle efficiency.

Become a project partner

This open project is welcoming new partners from around the world. OEMs, engineering companies, and power plant owner/operators are invited to join to gain a better understanding of how sCO2 technology can improve high-efficiency power generation.


For more information, contact Markus Lesemann directly or call 818.405.9564