ITMO University Research Could Lead to a Breakthrough in Engine Design
The researchers of ITMO University are working on detonation engine design that could transform gas turbine manufacturing. The target of a new technology is to reduce costs of power unit and rocket engine development and their usage. It also aims to increase effectiveness of the equipment and reduce fuel consumption. At the first step of the research ITMO University developers invented a testing bench, which imitates a gas-turbine power unit with detonation combustion chamber.
Unlike other engines, a detonation engine provides detonation combustion of fuel blend. A standard internal combustion engine presses fuel using a piston, whereas the detonation engine provides pressing by a shock wave. From a theoretical perspective the detonation engine is the most effective heat engine. However there is no a mechanism, which turns theoretical computation into reality.
Pavel Bulat, the head of the International Laboratory of New Materials and Nanofilms for Microsensors, Microwave and Power Electronics Component Base, noted that the researchers of the lab spent a year and a half for complicated theoretical research.
“We realized that shock-wave structures that are used in all types of detonation engines are imperfect. We found out that appropriate shock-wave structures exist. We determined some forms of these structures and developed a gas-turbine power unit model in order to perform experiments,” said Mr. Bulat.
Using the results of the experiment the researchers started to develop the testing unit imitating the stages of detonation engine working. If the experiment is successful there will be technological breakthrough.
There are two spheres of the new technology`s application: ground-based energy production and cheap rocket engine production. The Laboratory is going to commercialize this project.
“According to traditions of this field detonation and shock waves are topics researched by different scientists. Specialists on shock wave theory never research detonation i.e. combustion, which appears after a shock wave. Thus our research is unique because nobody did it before,” noted Mr. Bulat.
The activity of the International Laboratory of New Materials and Nanofilms for Microsensors, Microwave and Power Electronics Component Base is very fruitful. The researchers of the lab published 41 scientific articles on this problem in 2014-2015. As Pavel Bulat mentions this project will be developed in two years approximately.
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