The increase in firing temperatures and the subsequent increase of component temperatures is observed across a wide range of units from small engines producing several kilowatts of power to much larger units producing several hundred kilowatts. This will improve efficiency and will lower emissions. During its development programmes Sensor Coating Systems has applied its temperature mapping technology across different engine platforms. Applications are mostly in the design process, but recently SCS’s technology was successfully applied on operating field engines for in-situ maintenance.
Thermal management of components in the hot sections of gas turbines is critical to the development and operation of more efficient gas turbines. To date there are no methods available providing component temperature mapping without data gaps, without REACH restrictions or without specific commercial restrictions. This is a recognised industry need highlighted by relevant organisations in Europe (EVI-GTI) and the US (PIWG). Sensor Coating Systems provides a novel pioneering method of temperature mapping.
Increasing firing temperatures require new cooling designs for components, such as complex internal cooling labyrinths, or new material solutions such as parts made of CMC (ceramic-metal-composites). The introduction of additive manufacturing (‘3D printing’) will enable designers to turn around new designs in significant less time. However, this leaves the classical thermal validation processes as a potential bottleneck in the design process.
To address this need, SCS is developing thermal history sensors for use in extreme environments inside gas turbines and jet engines. This patented technology comprises sensors with memory that record the temperature to which they have been exposed so that it can be read out off-line. During the development programme thermal history paints (THP) and thermal history coatings (THC) have been applied on several engine components during engine testing and rig testing. Additionally, Sensor Coating Systems’ thermal mapping technology decreases the time needed for validation by providing an automated measuring system, mapping temperature distribution directly onto the designer’s CAD drawing.
Example application areas:
- Hot gas path components e.g. turbine blades, nozzle guide vanes, combustion chamber
- Difficult to access components such as drive shafts, disks or blisks
Benefits of the technology:
- Continuous temperature profiling to detect critical areas
- Accurate operating temperature measurement
- No access required during operation
- Enhanced maintenance data
- Non-destructive analysis
- Warranty claims
- In-the field measurements possible
Sensor Coating Systems has a global customer base in the power generation sector and works with some of the main manufacturers in the USA and in Europe, but also in Japan.