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Small turbomachinery research

Objective

Use of small turbomachine (air processing, turbochargers, and small gas turbines) has been hindered by poor performance. Since highly efficient turbomachines have been demonstrated at larger powers, it can only be surmised that the conventional practice of scaling down designs for small turbomachine is inadequate. It is proposed to improve small turbomachine design, manufacture, and performance by a generic research project, STR. The aim is to develop methodologies for the design of small turbomachine components suitable for a wide range of applications. This highly innovative project also includes a proof of concept phase. The target achievements at improvements of component efficiencies (4 points for the compressor and 3 points for the turbine), a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 10% and a 12% reduction in engine size for 50 kw power output compared to existing technology.
The main results and conclusions from the STR are as follows:
All six components: axial: (two sets for baseline and two sets for advanced); Radial Baseline (compressor and turbine) and Radial Advanced (compressor and turbine); were designed;
- All components were manufactured;
- Axial turbines were manufactured by machining from solid as well as by casting. Methodologies for advanced casting were developed and put-in-use at PBS;
- Both sets of axial turbines were tested on an actual gas turbine and show improvements beyond expectations;
- A radial test rig was developed capable of testing un-matched radial machines with substantial axial thrust;
- Radial baseline compressor was fully instrumented and tested. The data corroborated inlet/outlet data previously generated by LTS. The date also helped to understand the detail characteristics of the compressor that were previously only assumed;
- Radial advanced turbine was tested and showed efficiency improvements previously not expected;
- Generic research in areas previously un-chartered allowed development of design methodologies that are now well documented to provide designs that show efficiency improvements previously not expected;
- Research lead to innovations that allows use of compact, efficient, and low cost turbomachinery in fuel and air gas compression.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
Address
Exhibition Road
SW7 2BX London
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

CASTINGS TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL
United Kingdom
Address
East Bank Road 7
S2 3PT Sheffield
ECOLE NATIONALE SUPÉRIEURE D'INGÉNIEURS DE CONSTRUCTIONS AÉRONAUTIQUE
France
Address
Place Emile Blouin 1
31056 Toulouse
LIEBHERR AEROSPACE TOULOUSE SA
France
Address
Avenue Des Etats Unis 408
Toulouse
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
9,Iroon Polytechniou Street 9
15773 Athens
PRVNI BRNENSKA STROJIRNA VELKA BITES A.S.
Czechia
Address
Vikovska 279
595 12 Velka Bites
TURBOCAM EUROPE LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
Highlands Road 155 Unit 1
PO15 6JR Fareham