Analysis of a Microturbine Combustor
Authors:David Ceballos, Jacob Goering, Alexander Kanaley, James Lee, Esteban Leon, William Martin, Mario Ortega, Scott Richter
Mentor:Maryam Shafahi, Assistant Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
The current means of energy distribution relies heavily upon a single power generation station, whose energy is distributed to various units throughout the city. Energy producers must deal with efficiency losses in both production and distribution of energy. By contrast, the distributed energy model takes a different approach by placing small scale energy generation units where power is necessary. This project attempts to help facilitate this model by taking pre-existing technologies and designing a microturbine power generator that outperforms comparable current generators in cost and emissions. Two major analyses were conducted in order to validate the microturbine combustor design while an additional model was created to approximate cost per kWh. An experiment was created in a temperature controlled environment to simulate combustion while pressurized air was fed through the system at various flow rates. A theoretical model depicting system performance was generated for both compressor and turbine at predetermined pressure, temperature, and flow rate set forth by the previous test. The model for cost per kWh depicts average consumption costs per square foot for residential use. This microturbine prototype will generate about 10 kW which powers small campus laboratory located at the Cal Poly Pomona Regenerative Center. This project is an ongoing research effort to explore an efficient model for energy distribution. Our preliminary analysis has led us to believe that small gas turbines can deliver energy in a sustainable, eco-friendly, and potentially efficient manner.