There are multitudes of types of these rigs with reasons for and against them. These rigs are incredibly expensive to build and keep up. But they provide vital information about turbine performance and enable the improvement of turbine technology. Partnering with companies, various universities have set up their own test facilities. Manufacturers devote a lot of time and energy on the continuous improvement of turbomachines that operate in jet engines and power
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Why not test rig?
There are very few reasons to not utilize a turbine test rig. The main reason to not develop a facility is the incredibly high capital costs that are associated with building of such a testing location. Millions of dollars are provided from companies to research institutes to help them analyze the performance of various pieces of turbomachinery. If there is a lack of development within certain fields it may require companies interested in these fields to spend a lot of cash to get the attention. Within many industries high capital costs can limit construction and creation of a product. This is why there are so few nuclear power plants being developed. Due to high capital costs and regulations, the limitations are daunting. Test rig facilities see similar issues with the high capital costs and difficulties finding research institutes willing to partner with them.
Additionally, these facilities have high continuous operational costs. From employees, energy costs and supplying the facility with actual equipment to test, it is not a cheap operation. Money is usually the largest limiting factor of research and this is no exception.
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This is the reason TURMA was designed as a test rig that runs at moderate pressure and temperature, but still with full size stators and rotors. The testing environment with in TURMA is safe enough to use various delicate instrumentation. The use of full size models also allows the rotor mechanical radial and axial clearances to be accurately replicated, and the aerodynamics to be analyzed accurately as well.
Figure # : Turma Test Rig
UTRC Blowdown Turbine/Fan Test Facility
The blowdown research facility was intended for the aero-heat transfer study in just the turbine and fan section. The test rig uses a short duration testing style which is able to produce parameters such as Reynolds number, unsteady wake effects, free stream and turbulent flows.
Which are used to calculate and measure, temperatures, pressures, compressibility and shock wave effects. The facility can operate a four stage turbine with a maximum diameter of 37 inches. It was designed capable of testing active cooling, hot gas flow paths, geometric design and overall system design. The dump tank was design for a test duration of one second with the quick acting inlet valve operating at 50 milliseconds. The instrumentation would detect