Decentralized heat and power (CHP) production constitutes a promising solution to reduce the primary energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Here, micro gas turbine (MGT) based CHP systems are particularly suitable due to their low pollutant emissions without exhaust gas treatment.

Typically, the electrical power demand for single houses ranges from 1 to several kWel. However, downsizing turbocharger components of a conventional MGT CHP system can reduce electrical efficiencies since losses like seal and tip leakages, generally do not scale proportionally with size. By introducing an inverted Brayton Cycle (IBC) based MGT this potential can be exploited. The IBC keeps the volumetric flows constant while mass flow and thermodynamic work are scaled by the ratio of pressure level. Since the performance of turbocharger components is mainly driven by the volumetric flow they should be applicable for both cycles. Hence, smaller power outputs can be achieved.

The overall aim of this work, is the development of a recuperated inverted MGT CHP unit for a single family house with 1 kWel. This paper presents an experimental study of the applicability and feasibility of a conventional MGT operated in IBC mode. The demonstrator was based on a single shaft, single stage conventional MGT. Reliable start up and stable operation within the entire operating range from 180 000 rpm to 240 000 rpm are demonstrated. The turbine outlet pressure varied between 0,5 bar (part load) and 0,3 bar absolute (full load). All relevant parameters such as pressure losses and efficiencies of the main components are investigated.

Moreover, the power output and the mechanical and thermal losses were analyzed in detail. Although the results indicated that the mechanical and heat losses have a high influence on the performance and economic efficiency of the system, the prototype shows great potential for further development.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.