This paper describes a development program active at Magellan Aerospace Corporation since 2003, whereby specific modifications are incorporated into an Avco Lycoming T-53 helicopter gas turbine engine to enable it to function as a ground based Industrial unit for distributed power generation. The Lycoming T-53 is a very well proven and reliable two shaft gas turbine engine whose design can be traced back to the 1950s and the fact of its continued service to the present day is a tribute to the original design/development team. Phase 1 of the Program introduces abradable rotor path linings, blade coatings and changes to seal and blade tip clearances. Magellan has built a test cell to run the power generation units to full speed and full power in compliance with ISO 2314. In co-operation with Zorya-Mashproekt, Ukraine, the exhaust emissions of the existing combustion system for natural gas was reduced by 30%. New nozzles for low heat value fuels and for high hydrogen content fuels (up to 60% H2) have been developed. The T-53 gas turbine engine exhaust gas temperature is typically around 620 deg C, which makes it a very good candidate for co-generation and recuperated applications. As per Phase 2 of the program, the existing helicopter integral gearbox and separate industrial step-down gearbox will be replaced with single integral gearbox that will use the same lubrication oil system as the gas turbine engine. The engine power output will increase to 1200 kW at the generator terminals with an improvement to 25% efficiency ISO. Phase 3 of the Program will see the introduction of a new silo type combustion system, developed in order to utilize alternative fuels such as bio-diesel, biofuel (product of wood pyrolysis), land fill gases, syn gases etc. Phase 4 of the Program in cooperation with ORMA, Russia will introduce a recuperator into the package and is expected to realize a boost in overall efficiency to 37%. The results of testing the first two T-53 industrial gas turbine engines modified per Phase 1 will be presented.

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