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Determination of the performance of a prototype TurbX engine

by 1976- Erickson, Kurt

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to develop a testing procedure to measure the performance of a prototype TurbX™ engine. Dr. Michael A. Wilson invented a new concept internal combustion engine called TurbX™ and it is said to have higher efficiency and fuel economy compared to other engines. Theoretically, the TurbX™ engine cycle can be ideally represented by the Atkinson thermodynamic cycle with a continuous combustion process. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville joined together to conduct tests to determine the performance of the TurbX™ engine. A total of 26 fired test runs were conducted to measure the TurbX™ engine performance characteristics as a function of speed. These were categorized into three separate cases based on rotational speed and the general quality or nature of combustion. The results from these tests clearly indicate that the TurbX™ engine produced no net output power for operational speeds up to 10,000 rpm. The temperature measurements indicated that for most of the runs there was sustained combustion. However, even in runs where satisfactory combustion was observed, measured gage pressure inside the combustion chamber never exceeded 15.5 kPa at 10,000 rpm. The lack of sufficient pressure rise inside the combustion chamber is indicative of excessive leakage through the rotor/stator clearance gap in the bladed section of the rotor and further development and research are needed to address this problem. Based on the results and the experience gained through the testing procedure, several recommendations are made. For future testing, it is recommended that fuels with iv high-flame velocities such as hydrogen or acetylene should be used, redesign the combustion chamber, reduce leakage through the air gap between the rotor and stators using a more direct approach to determine and adjust the size of the air gap, and improve the aerodynamic design of the stator expansion passages and rotor turbine blades. v
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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