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Development of a Novel Gas Turbine Simulator for Hybrid Solar-Brayton Systems

Time: Fri 2022-10-21 13.00

Location: M263, Brinellvägen 68, Stockholm

Language: English

Subject area: Energy Technology

Doctoral student: Tianyao Pan , Kraft- och värmeteknologi, Concentrating Solar Power

Opponent: Professor Konstantinos Kyprianidis, Mälardalens högskola

Supervisor: Professor Björn Laumert, Kraft- och värmeteknologi; Doktor Wujun Wang, Kraft- och värmeteknologi


Hybrid solar-Brayton systems utilize both solar thermal energy and supplementary renewable fuels to provide controllable and dispatchable power output, which renders them a promising way to meet the growing energy demand and reduce the carbon footprints. However, existing testing facilities for key components in such hybrid systems often fail to accomplish the testing requirements, hence impeding the improvement of the renewable energy share and the overall efficiency. A novel testing facility is urgently needed in order to thoroughly stimulate and analyze the component characteristics.

This research work focuses on the development of a gas turbine simulator as an innovative testing facility for hot, pressurized components in hybrid solar-Brayton systems. The dual-flow choked nozzle based flow control has been proposed, explained, and analyzed in comparison to the single-flow layout. The basic idea of gas turbine simulator has been experimentally implemented and validated on a prototype, verifying its functionality. By incorporating a PLC-based control system, an automated gas turbine simulator has been designed and modified based on the prototype. Its performance with regard to stabilizing boundaries and tracking trajectories has been evaluated by experiments.

Based on the experimental results, the gas turbine simulator prototype has proven its ability to establish controllable boundary conditions and migrate operating points for the impinging receiver. Through manual adjustments, excellent quasi-steady state performance has been obtained, with the precision for pressure control reaching ±0.005 bar at ambient temperature and ±0.015 bar at high temperature of 797.1-931.5 °C. The manual operation time has been identified at 23.1 s for establishing the receiver boundaries, and at 70 s for changing operating points.

With the help of the proposed control strategy, the automated gas turbine simulator has eliminated the need for manual adjustments, and demonstrated the ability to maintain the safe and convergent operation for the receiver. The performance in boundary condition stabilization has been satisfactory, with enhanced steady-state accuracy comparing to the prototype by virtue of the PID controller. The transient-state fluctuations in pressure control have been effectively restrained within an acceptable region with deviations of ±0.018 bar to ±0.076 bar from the desired 2.400 bar operating pressure. The capability of tracking linear and nonlinear trajectories has also been testified, with the precision level between ±0.023 bar and ±0.037 bar.

Finally, in view of the good stability, high precision, and rapid response manifested in the experimental studies, the gas turbine simulator has validated its ability to imitate the steady and transient characteristics of gas turbines on the boundaries of the test section. It also grants the possibilities to conduct control variable studies and wide-range transition studies. The gas turbine simulator is a suitable testing facility for the key components in hybrid solar-Brayton systems.