Micro gas turbines are a versatile platform for advanced cycle concepts. In these novel cycles, basic micro gas turbine components — compressor, turbine, combustor and recuperator — are coupled with various other technologies to achieve higher efficiency and flexibility. Examples are hybrid power plants integrating pressurized fuel cells, solar receivers or thermal storages. Characteristically, such complex cycles contain vast pressurized gas volumes between compressor and turbine, many times larger than those contained in conventional micro gas turbines. In fast deceleration maneuvers the rotational speed of the compressor drops rapidly. However, the pressure decrease is delayed due to the large amount of gas contained in the volumes. Ultimately, this can lead to compressor flow instability or surge. To predict and mitigate such instabilities, not only the compressor surge limit must be known, but also the dynamic dependencies between shaft speed deceleration, pressure and flow changes within the system. Since appropriate experiments may damage the system, investigations with numerical simulations are crucial. The investigation begins with a mathematical explanation of the relevant mechanisms, based on a simplified analytical model. Subsequently, the DLR in-house simulation program TMTSyS (Transient Modular Turbo-System Simulator) is used to investigate the impact of transient maneuvers on a micro gas turbine test rig containing a large pressurized gas volume in detail. After the relevant aspects of the simulation model are validated against measurement data, it is shown that the occurrence of compressor instabilities induced by fast deceleration can be predicted with the simulator. It is also shown that the simulation tool enables these predictions using only measurement data of non-critical maneuvers. Hence, mitigation strategies are derived that allow to estimate save shaft speed deceleration rate limits based on non-critical performance measurements.

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