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Research

Design of small oil-free gas turbines for UAV propulsion and power generation

High pressure ratio micro turbo alternator for UAV hybrid propulsion

High pressure ratio micro turbo alternator for UAV hybrid propulsion

Second stage axial turbine with high speed permanent magnet generator supported by foil bearing and ceramic ball bearing Second stage axial turbine with high speed permanent magnet generator supported by foil bearing and ceramic ball bearing

Second stage axial turbine with high speed permanent magnet generator supported by foil bearing and ceramic ball bearing

Oil-free turbo compressors and blowers for fuel cell systems

We designed a motor driven PEM turbo charger (320,000rpm) with pressure ratio 2.5, 27g/s of air flow at 15,000ft altitude for fuel-cell based UAV APU.

Anode recirculation turbo blower for SOFC system (200,000rpm) uses bleed exhaust gas from the afterburner of SOFC system to drive radial turbine and blower. Very small portion of anode recirculation gas is cooled through external heat exchanger to lubricate the foil bearings, which are located in cold side.

Micro turbo blower (500,000rpm) for PEM fuel cells (1~2 kW) are also under development.

Motor driven PEM turbo charger

Anode recirculation turbo blower

Micro turbo blower

Advanced thermal management method of electric motors for hybrid vehicles

Novel cooling method of high speed electric motor for hybrid vehicles are being developed using two phase fluid.

Micro gas turbines for residential CHP boilers

Micro gas turbine integrated with residential boiler provides system efficiency as high as 85% (fuel to electricity and heat). In addition to on-site electrical power, high temperature exhaust gas from the micro gas turbine provides enough heat for residential heating and hot water. The system efficiency can be further improved by combining with micro ORC (Organic Rankine Cycles).

Non-contact gas bearings

Core technology of oil-free turbomachinery is non-contact gas bearings. We are very specialized in design, prototyping and testing of advanced foil bearings with various sizes, from 5mm up to 200mm in diameter. Partnered with Bellkim Energy, LLC, University of Texas at Arlington developed the industry-leading foil bearings for the following applications.

  • 4kW turbo alternators (186,000rpm)
  • 12kW turbo alternators (140,000rpm)
  • 50kW pure oxygen turbines (70,000rpm)
  • 100kW turbo alternators (47,500rpm)

High temperature coating

Polymer coating

Gas turbine simulator rotor with foil bearings

Hybrid foil bearing with zero speed load capacity of 30psi (480lbf for 4” design and 1920 lbf for 8” design)

Novel radial bumps adopted to thrust foil bearings

Compliant surface seal

Based on compliant foil bearing technology, unique compliant surface seal designs are also available with very small cross coupling stiffness and excellent sealing capability.

Double layer foil seal

Assembled foil seals

Seal characterization

Example applied to axial stage

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering