Electronic military equipment weight as well as MAV flight time is highly dependent on achievable electric energy density. Therefore, the development of a 300W kerosene-driven Ultra Micro Gas Turbine (UMGT) prototype is proposed, which is foreseen to triple energy density compared to current Li-Ion batteries. UMGT developments of previous research projects did not achieve useful electric power output due to manufacturing limitations and unstable air bearings. To counter these shortcomings, the proposed project will facilitate an additive ceramic manufacturing approach, allowing outstanding design flexibility and material properties. As current high-end ball bearing technology is suitable for the demanding operating conditions of UMGTs, ceramic hybrid bearings will lead to reliable operation of the turbine rotor. In accordance with experimental tests, an analytic engine model will be established to evaluate multiple engine configurations, leading to a highly redundant development process that will result in a multi-parameter optimized UMGT prototype.
- Additive manufacturing process – simplified and cheap production of the impeller
- Active cooling scheme reduces thermal stresses, enabling 3D printed materials at increased turbine inlet temperatures
- Static air bearings can be potentially used without external pressure supply system, resulting in a more stable operation when compared to foil bearings
Applications and Opportunities
- Micro UAVs for military and civil applications
- Portable rechargeable electric power supply systems
- Stationary power supplies for domestic use