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November 17, 2008
News - Enginursday: Yeah, I foun…
about 5 years ago
Well, it's interesting to see how a small portion the Sparkfun overhead is indirectly expended. An impractical use for this may be to power an oversized and obnoxiously loud leaf blower. However, I suspect the only likely practical applications relate to using with a generator (as it was designed and built for).
As to ...“You would find an engine like this on a turboprop plane”...:
I'm not a gas turbine expert, but I do have a commercial pilot rating for turboprop airplanes and turboshaft helicopters. The operation of gas turbine engines is generally limited to a range of high RPMs were the Brayton cycle can be maintained and managed. The gas turbines of turboprops and turboshafts often have centrifugal and axial stages along with a separate power turbine/section(Np) that is connected to the gear box for propulsion/lift. This allows the gas turbine section(Ng) to better establish and maintain combustion independent of the mechanical load. The Ng and Np sections rotate independently on concentric shafts. Also, many large aircraft have on-board APUs for start-up/backup power.
This gas turbine appears to be a single shaft with a combined gas/power function. As such, the stability of the output RPM greatly affects the stability of the combustion. Use with a generator would allow the engine to be brought to speed with little load and then for some control of the load placed on it. Any other application with significant initial or irregular loads could be highly problematic.
Good luck with the endeavor – If you haven't done so already, you may want find a similar jet turbine ground power unit in use someplace. Additionally, inspection and maintenance of gas turbines can require specialized training and tools.
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