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Micro-turbine engines usage in power generation systems.

Borovikov D, Ionov A, Seliverstov S

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)

Small size gas-turbine engines (micro-turbine) are becoming more common. These engines could be applied for all-weather unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), subsonic air defense targets, and maneuverable small size weapons; also, they find their application in ground-based generator sets. Power unit on the base of micro-turbine engines has several advantages like small size, mobility, high specific capacity. Specified requirements of such plants are quite high: it must have high reliability, economical efficiency, have long time before overhaul (TBO) and be manufacturable. Design of such plants has encountered with difficulties, firstly micro-turbine engines design stage due to massive degeneration of the workflow the dimension reduction causes the disproportionate power reduction. The engineering developments of micro-turbine engines and power units are carrying out on such micro-turbine engines basis at the aircrafts engines department of Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University).

In spite of high demand into reliable and mobile power plants, there are not many manufacturers of such plants, but in many countries, the engineering developments of micro- turbine engines and power units are carrying out. Such plants oriented, first of all on emergencies services, fire department brigades, military needs, as well as for work in the North, Arctic and Antarctic, reserve ships power supply, for temporary accommodation, gas pipelines etc. In the Russian Federation such plants are not produced commercially, and their foreign counterparts have a high cost.

The main challenges for the research team are to increase efficiency and TBO of such plants. Increasing of efficiency achieved by using new composite materials and new methods of design, directed to increase turbine gas temperature and compressor compression ratio. Small size of a plant allows using composite materials in a hot part of the engine: nozzle block, turbine, and generator shaft. Other important option is a compression ratio in a compressor. Now days most part of small size centrifugal compressors are working in 3-8 compression ratio diapason, which is far away from the efficiency extremum. The research team have performed a verification compression design methodic, as a result of which a methodic for high-pressure wide chord centrifugal compressor design was realized (pic. 1).

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