It is widely considered that micro gas turbines are potential devices for future energy needs. However, many micro gas turbine development projects have failed, particularly those with a very low power level below 10 kW. The financial and experimental capabilities for micro gas turbine development projects are typically extremely limited; hence, there is a need for low cost mobile test rigs. To close this gap, a robust mobile test rig for turboshaft micro gas turbines was developed and validated. The shaft power can be determined using a thermal measurement approach. This circumvents any issues associated with high voltage and electric current levels. The shaft power can be obtained by a straightforward parameter identification procedure based on simple temperature measurements. This approach is feasible because an analytical expression for the transient temperature field can be obtained. The test rig and thermal power measurement concept were fully validated by a commercial micro gas turbine; good agreement was obtained between the experimental results and the theoretical process data.

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