The application of power plants based on renewable energy sources is attractive from an ecological viewpoint. Micro Gas Turbine (MGT) combined with solar energy is a highly promising technology for small-scale electric power generations in remote areas. In MGT state-of-the-art development, the necessity of the numerical optimization in turbomachinery components becomes increasingly important due to its direct impact on the MGT cycle performance.

The present paper provides the multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) of a radial turbine and radial compressor for a 40 kW Solar Hybrid Micro Gas Turbine (SHGT) with a 15m diameter parabolic dish concentrator. The objectives of MDO are to maximize the stage efficiency, to minimize the maximum stress and the inertia, and to enhance the operational flexibility. Preliminary design and performance map prediction using one-dimensional (1D) analysis are performed for both turbine and compressor at various speed lines followed by full three-dimensional (3D) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element (FE) analyses and 3D parameterization in the MDO simulations. The purpose of 1D analysis is to set the primary parameters for initial geometry such as rotor dimensions, passage areas, diffuser and volute size.

The MDO has been performed using fully coupled multi-stream tube (MST), 3D CFD and FE simulations. MST is used for calculating the load on the blade and the flow distribution from hub to shroud and linearized blade-to-blade calculations based on quasi-three dimensional flow. Thereafter, 3D CFD simulations are performed to calculate efficiencies while the structural stresses are simulated by means of FE analyses. In the current studies, Numeca Fine/Turbo is used as a CFD solver and Ansys Mechanical as a FEA solver, together with Axcent™ as an interface to Fine/Design 3D for geometry parameterization.

Furthermore, the cycle analysis for SHGT has been performed to evaluate the effect of the new turbomachinery components from the MDO on the SHGT system performance. It is found that using the MST fully coupled with CFD and FE analysis can significantly reduce the computational cost and time on the design and development process.

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