Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
A fully-functioning, self-sustaining gas turbine engine was designed and built. The engine was constructed around a Holset HE351 VGT automobile turbocharger, containing compressor and turbine assemblies on a common shaft. Other components of the engine were either purchased or designed and fabricated in-house. During initial testing of the completed engine, the turbocharger, however, was found to have extensive damage to the internal oil seals, and so the project could not be completed as planned. Instead, the combustor design and fabrication was completed for stand-alone testing. The combustion chamber was designed so that the flame tube could be easily changed out in order to examine the effects of various hole- patterns and fuel-air mixing ratios. Initial testing of the completed combustor assembly showed that the combustion of the propane was not contained within the combustion chamber. Thus the goal of the project was to achieve complete combustion within the combustion chamber while keeping the flame tube structurally sound and the efficiency high. The intent of the project was to supplement the existing propulsion experiments for Cal Poly’s Aero 401 course with a second gas turbine experiment. Due to the setbacks, the project will not be ready to use as a complete lab experiment, however this work-in-progress will be available for future students to learn from and complete, as many of the necessary components have already been designed and fabricated/acquired.