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Investigation of the Potential of Gas Turbines for Vehicular Applications

Henrique Cunha
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2011. Diploma work - Department of Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, ISSN 1652-8557; 2011:43, 2011.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

The increasing number of passenger cars worldwide and the consequent increasing rate of global oil consump- tion have raised the pressure on fuel prices and have caused serious problems to the environment. Nowadays, the demand for reducing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions has paved the way for the development of more efficient power generation systems for the transportation sector. In the past decades, environmental advantages of the gas turbine, such as low concentration of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, have led some car manufacturers to evaluate the potential of this type of engine as prime mover. The viability of an engine for road vehicle applications is highly dependent on its performance, mainly in terms of fuel consumption. This assessment is rather complex and involves high costs. Nevertheless, these costs can be mitigated by utilizing simulation tools that predict the performance of the vehicle and its on-board subsystems under a variety of driving conditions. This work focuses on the development of a methodology and tools for simulating the performance of gas turbines powering road vehicles, in a wide range of simulation conditions. Three different codes were used in order to carry out this study: focusing on simulating the thermodynamic cycle of three different gas turbine models; post-processing the gas turbine performance data generated; and simulating the performance of two different road vehicles at various driving conditions. Simulations were carried out using a quasistatic approach; the results generated were quite distinct for the different vehicles, driving patterns and engine configurations tested. The simulations indicate that vehicles powered by gas turbines have higher fuel consumption than the ones equipped with reciprocating engines, independently of the driving conditions simulated. Nevertheless, more innovative cycles incorporating advanced technologies could in the future change this picture. The developed platform permits not only the simulation of innovative and complex gas turbine configurations (with higher efficiency compared to the concepts already assessed) operating as prime movers in road vehicles, but also the modeling of hybrid powertrains, combining electric propulsion with this type of engine. Some car manufacturers argue that the use of a gas turbine operating as range extender in a series hybrid configuration is the most efficiency solution in the coming years. The methodology presented in this work sets the formulation for performing such an assessment and provides a first estimate for the fuel economy of different powertrain topologies.

Nyckelord: Gas Turbine, Road Vehicle, Fuel Consumption, Computational Simulation

Publikationen registrerades 2012-01-10. Den ändrades senast 2013-04-04

CPL ID: 152172

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