Gas turbine testing

Gas Turbine Research Centre
Our Gas Turbine Research Centre is one of only a handful worldwide.

We have some of the only gas turbine testing facilities in the world, with features that make them unique.

Our equipment is used to develop and test new combustion systems, components and fuels at gas turbine relevant temperatures and pressures.

We have a number of atmospheric burners and furnaces as well as two high pressure combustion rigs designed to investigate combustion and emissions in gas turbines.

Gas mixing facility

Our gas mixing facility has a gas control system which takes each component gas separately and mixes them gravimetrically on site.

The gas control cabinet has five gas lines with safety interlock valves, coriolis mass flow meters and control valves.

Sector combustor rig

Sector combustion rig
Sector combustion rig

Our sector combustor rig is primarily used for internal gas sampling within combustor sectors at variable operating conditions. Gas samples are analysed for combustion and emissions species. A system for sampling gases within the combustor gives a unique capability for investigating pollutants.

High pressure combustor rig

High pressure combustor rig
High pressure combustor rig

Our high pressure combustor rig allows detailed investigation of combustion systems in gas turbines for the aviation and land based power generation industries.

A range of state of the art measurement sections can be operated at the facility, including an optical combustor, combustion instability, auto-ignition and wall cooling.

Various fuels can be used icluding kerosene, diesel, bio-diesels, natural gas, methane and various simulated synthetic gases.

Large scale atmospheric spray rig

The atmospheric spray rig is primarily used for the characterisation of large scale sprays up to 250g/s.  Typical liquids that have been used include, water, gasoline, cyclohexane, butane, propane, diesel and bio-oil.

The facilities exist to pre-heat liquids and for air and steam assisted nozzles.

Techniques

You can use a wide variety of techniques with our facilties, including:

  • flame speed measurement
  • Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA)
  • Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV)
  • Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF)
  • Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA)
  • schlieren photography
  • high-speed photography
  • gas analysis (combustion products)
  • particulate matter analysis (TEM / EDAX, DMS, LII smoke number)
  • optical
  • computer modelling.

How they help

Together with the Low Carbon Research Institute, we are helping Wales deliver its low carbon agenda. The Large Scale Power Generation project is experimenting with combustion of gas mixtures under simulated and real world operating conditions. The project team are examining the suitability of alternative and renewable gaseous fuels for power generation via gas turbines, enhancing the potential for these gases and enabling industry to cut costs and enhance supply security.

An EU-funded project called AFTUR used our facilities to investigate the use of alternative fuels for industrial gas turbines. The project aimed to reduce dependence on imported fuel, to help achieve Kyoto targets, tackle increased energy demand and increase EU competitiveness in the world market.

The Port Talbot site of Tata Steel was operating natural gas-fired boilers, generating high pressure steam for electricity generation and feeding a low pressure steam ring main for use across the steelworks. We investigated combustible process gases produced on site to determine optimum combustion characteristics.