Microturbines have been developed as compact gas turbines to be applied in the regenerative Brayton cycle. A typical microturbine is composed of a centrifugal compressor and a radial inflow turbine. As such, the microturbine has a starting characteristic peculiar to radial inflow turbines. An idling state known as the windage point for mass flow rate can be formed because of improper inlet flow conditions for turbine expansion flow. The present study looked at the relationships between the radius ratio of the radial inflow turbine to the centrifugal compressor and the starting characteristic and at the effects of turbine inlet flow conditions on the starting characteristic. Fundamental equations for the relationships between the radius ratio and the starting characteristic were obtained. Effectiveness of the equations was compared with experiment results obtained with a 150 kW class prototype microturbine.

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