Research and training for more efficient use of fuels
The European project coordinated by the Department of Industrial Engineering is underway
The Department of Industrial Engineering is the coordinator of a European project aimed at studying a new technology to enhance the efficiency of the thermodynamic cycle in gas turbines and aircraft engines. The project, called INSPIRE (INSpiring Pressure Gain Combustion Integration, Research, and Education), is coordinated by Antonio Andreini, researcher at the Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF) and is funded by the EU platform H2020 Marie Curie (MSCA-ITN).
“Our project will focus on the development of Pressure Gain Combustion (PGC) technology, whose adoption involves an important modification of the thermodynamic cycle in gas turbines and aircraft engines allowing to increase the overall efficiency by more than 20%,” explains Andreini.
INSPIRE avails itself of the supervision of Bruno Facchini (professor of Energy and Environment Systems at DIEF) and is an Integrated Training Network: it will involve 15 PhD students who have to address, with experimental or numerical investigations, theoretical and technical aspects necessary for the development and adoption of PGC which, “represents the ideal solution for the efficient use of carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen, which will constitute a strategic energy resource in the coming decades,” comments Andreini.
The project will spread for 4 years with a total budget of around 4 million euros; the €523,000 allocated to the UNIFI team will also be used for the recruitment of two PhD students, who will address some among the most critical issues connected with the use of PGC systems: the cooling of combustor and the process of interaction with the turbine.
The other consortium partners are the University of Genoa, the Polytechnic of Turin, the Technical University of Berlin (TUB), the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and, from France, the Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique (CERFACS) , the École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique d’Aérotechnique (ENSMA) and the business partner SAFRAN. The consortium will be supported by external partners, including AvioAero (I), Baker Hughes — Nuovo Pignone (I), Ansaldo Energia Switzerland (CH), the French aerospace research center ONERA and the US universities of Cincinnati and Purdue, who will collaborate in the training of PhD students.