Investigation of dynamic properties of the microturbine with a maximum rotational speed of 120 krpm – predictions and experimental tests

  • Grzegorz Żywica
  • Tomasz Kaczmarczyk
  • Łukasz Breńkacz
  • Małgorzata Bogulicz
  • Artur Andrearczyk
  • Paweł Bagiński
Advances in the development of analysis and design methods for fluid-flow machines have enabled both their multi-criteria optimisation and miniaturisation. To decrease the size of such a machine whilst, at the same time, maintaining its output power level, the rotor’s rotational speed needs to be increased. It is the reason for serious difficulties with respect to the rotor dynamics and the selection of a bearing system. This article discusses the simulation analysis and experimental research carried out on a prototypical microturbine, designed for use in a domestic ORC (organic Rankine cycle) cogeneration system. During the design process, the basic assumption was to develop a turbomachine, whose dimensions would have been as small as possible and whose output electric power would have been about 1 kilowatt. A supersonic impulse turbine, with a nominal rotational speed of 100,000 rpm, was used in order to obtain high flow efficiency. The maximum speed of the rotor was determined at a level of 120,000 rpm. The article presents the results of analyses made at the design stage and preliminary results of the experimental research. The numerical simulations covered the bearing system optimisation and the rotor dynamics analysis. Next, based on the outcomes of these analyses, a decision was made to use non-conventional gas bearings which are fed by the low-boiling medium’s vapour that comes from the ORC system. Within the framework of the experimental research, the dynamic behaviour of the turbogenerator was examined in terms of the rotational speed and produced energy. The performed measurements are proof of very good dynamic properties of the tested machine and after the research was over it was concluded that there were absolutely no signs of wear of the turbogenerator’s subassemblies.
Type of Publication:
microturbines; high-speed rotors; unconventional bearings; rotor dynamics
Journal of Vibroengineering