Micro gas turbines (MGT) provide a highly efficient, low-pollutant way to generate power and heat on-site. MGTs have also proven to be a versatile technology platform for recent developments like utilization of fuels with low specific heating values and solar thermal electricity generation. Moreover, they are the foundation to build novel cycles like the inverted Brayton cycle or fuel cell hybrid power plants.
Numerical simulations of steady operation points are beneficial in various phases of MGT cycle development. They are used to determine and analyze the future potentials of innovative cycles for example by predicting the electrical efficiency and they support the thermodynamic design process (by providing mass flow, pressure and temperature data). Numerical Simulation allows to approximate off-design performance of known cycles e.g. power output at different ambient conditions. Additionally, numerical simulation is used to support cycle optimization efforts by analyzing the sensitivity of component performance on cycle performance. Numerical models of the MGT components have to be tuned and validated based on experimental data from MGT test rigs.
At DLR institute of combustion technology a MGT steady-state cycle simulation tool has been used to analyze a variety of cycles and has been revised for several years. In this paper, the validation process is discussed in detail. Comparing simulation data with measurement data from the DLR Turbec T100 test rig has led to extensions of the numeric models, on the one hand, and to modifications of the test rig on the other. Newly implemented numerical models account for the generator heat release to the inlet air and the power electronic limitations. The test rig was modified to improve the temperature measurement at positions with uneven spatial temperature distribution such as the turbine outlet. Analyzing these temperature distributions also yields a possible explanation for the apparent strong recuperator efficiency drop at high load levels, which was also observed by other T100 users before.