Performance and diagnostics of supercritical CO2 gas turbines PhD

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Cranfield, ENGLAND

Due to unique properties of supercritical CO2 (sCO2), sCO2 gas turbines have many advantages over their counterparts, such as being more compact, lower costs, using single-phase fluid rather than two-phase fluid compared with steam turbines, higher cycle efficiency when using low temperature heat sources compared with gas turbines, etc. The aim of this PhD research is to develop novel performance simulation, optimization, and diagnostic methods for sCO2 gas turbines. The new knowledge will assist performance designs, analysis, operations, and condition monitoring of sCO2 gas turbines. The studentship offers partial funding to the student for three years.


Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering, Cranfield University, in the area of supercritical CO2 gas turbine performance simulation, optimization, and diagnostics.

Cranfield has developed a unique methodology and software to simulate and analyse the performance of gas turbine engines. The research in this area at Cranfield will be a good starting point for the proposed project. The focus of the research is to extend the existing performance and diagnostic capabilities to supercritical CO2 (sCO2) gas turbines for power generation or marine applications. The critical components of sCO2 gas turbines, such as heat exchanger, compressors, turbines, condenser, and the whole system integration will be simulated thermodynamically. Performance design optimization and gas path diagnostic methods will be investigated and corresponding computer software will be developed. The research will contribute to the development of digital twin technologies for sCO2 gas turbines.

The Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering has a key focus and a proven track record on gas turbine performance, gas path diagnostics, novel thermodynamic cycle performance, etc., which have been built up over the last half century. This provides a unique capability to assist researchers and engineers in new engine and power plant designs and support the users in optimizing the profits of gas turbine and power plant operations, improving power system availability and reducing maintenance costs.

The history of gas turbine performance engineering at Cranfield dates back to 1946 and the foundation of the Institution. The Centre for Propulsion and Thermal Power Engineering contributes and focuses on gas turbines for aerospace, marine and power generation applications, the sectors where Europe and Britain are world leaders and major exporters. This high technology global industry is worth more than £30 billion per annum. Current challenges are arising from the need to address environmental issues and the changing economic climate. These challenges have created an environment where a large return can be accrued from an investment in gas turbines and related power system research and education.

It is expected the research will generate new methods and knowledge for performance simulation, optimization and diagnostics of sCO2 gas turbines. The new knowledge will be very useful to guide the designs, operations and condition monitoring of sCO2 gas turbine power plants.

The student will be based within the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing. Cranfield is a wholly postgraduate university and there are a wide range of MSc and Professional Development Short Courses throughout the year. The student may have opportunities to access some of the MSc courses and CPD short courses relevant to the research and attend and publish papers in international conferences.

Cranfield operates a substantial Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (DRCD) for its research students. This programme provides a generic structured training programme which is constructed to support the researcher as the PhD progresses with specific courses aimed at the different phases of a PhD. For example, the programme includes aspects such as research methods, technical report writing, presentation skills, data management, leadership skills, professional development planning, intellectual property, publishing, etc. Such knowledge, skills and capability will enhance the student's employment opportunities in both academic institutions and industry.

This is an exciting opportunity for a suitable candidate where he or she will be exposed to the latest technology, learn from experts working in the area and prepare for an exciting career in either academia or industry.


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