Test Program for High Efficiency Gas Turbine Exhaust Diffuser
Test Program for High Efficiency Gas Turbine Exhaust Diffuser This research relates to improving the efficiency of flow in a turbine exhaust, and thus, that of the turbine and power plant. The Phase I SBIR project demonstrated the technical viability of “strutlets” to control stalls on a model diffuser strut. Strutlets are a novel flow-improving vane concept intended to improve the efficiency of flow in turbine exhausts. Strutlets can help reduce turbine back pressure, and incrementally improve turbine efficiency, increase power, and reduce greenhouse gas emmission. The long-term goal is a 0.5 percent improvement of each item, averaged over the US gas turbine fleet. The strutlets were tested in a physical scale model of a gas turbine exhaust diffuser. The test flow passage is a straight, annular diffuser with three sets of struts. At the end of Phase 1, the ability of strutlets to keep flow attached to struts was demonstrated, but the strutlet drag was too high for a net efficiency advantage. An independently sponsored followup project did develop a highly-modified low-drag strutlet. In combination with other flow improving vanes, complicance to the stated goals was demonstrated for for simple cycle power plants, and to most of the goals for combined cycle power plants using this particular exhaust more »
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