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High Power Density Silicon Combustion Systems for Micro Gas Turbine Engines

[+] Author Affiliations
C. M. Spadaccini, J. Lee, S. Lukachko, I. A. Waitz

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

A. Mehra

D-STAR Engineering Corporation, Shelton, CT

X. Zhang

Boston University, Boston, MA

Paper No. GT2002-30082, pp. 469-481; 13 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2002: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Turbo Expo 2002
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 3–6, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3606-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3601-0
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


As part of an effort to develop a micro-scale gas turbine engine for power generation and micro-propulsion applications, this paper presents the design, fabrication, experimental testing, and modeling of the combustion system. Two radial inflow combustor designs were examined; a single-zone arrangement and a primary and dilution-zone configuration. Both combustors were micro-machined from silicon using Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) and aligned fusion wafer bonding. Hydrogen-air and hydrocarbon-air combustion was stabilized in both devices, each with chamber volumes of 191 mm3 . Exit gas temperatures as high as 1800 K and power densities in excess of 1100 MW/m3 were achieved. For the same equivalence ratio and overall efficiency, the dual-zone combustor reached power densities nearly double that of the single-zone design. Because diagnostics in micro-scale devices are often highly intrusive, numerical simulations were used to gain insight into the fluid and combustion physics. Unlike large-scale combustors, the performance of the micro-combustors was found to be more severely limited by heat transfer and chemical kinetics constraints. Important design trades are identified and recommendations for micro-combustor design are presented.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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