Our research projects include:
- Design of small oil-free gas turbines for UAV propulsion and power generation,
- Advanced thermal management method of electric motors for hybrid vehicles,
- Micro gas turbines for residential CHP boilers,
- Non-contact gas bearings, and
- Compliant surface seal.
Engineering Service and Foil Bearing Development
Core competency of our team is thorough knowledge and know-how on manufacturing process of foil bearings and their operating characteristics.
One of the research thrust areas in our lab is to develop core technologies for environment-friendly microturbomachinery.
Main effort is on developing air foil bearings (AFB) and tilting pad gas bearings for environment-friendly microturbomachinery.
One of the technical challenges associated with adoption of AFBs is a thermal management of the bearing. Even if
main advantage of the AFB is a low friction, heat generation inside the bearing and relevant bearing failure mechanism
cannot be overlooked. Current research activities on AFB include: development of computational model to predict thermal
instability of rotor-bearing system and experimental verification; design and testing of 4” dia hydrostatic
air foil bearing; development of micro fuel cell blower with 5mm dia air foil bearing. Both experimental and computational
works are performed in our lab.
Another thrust area is to develop multi-scale/multi-physics computational model of Solid oxide fuel cell
(SOFC) system including stack, heat exchangers, auto thermal reformer, and blowers for air delivery and
anode exhaust recirculation.
SOFC systems have been recognized as the most advanced power generation system with
the highest thermal efficiency with a compatibility with wide variety of hydrocarbon fuels, synthetic gas from coal,
hydrogen, etc. Currently, detailed non-linear thermal dynamic models of cross-flow gas-gas heat exchangers and planar
SOFC stack have been developed and experimental verifications are underway.