Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT) is engaged in the design and development of high technology turbomachininery. One area of efficiency improvement is in the reduction of leakage flows through the use of highly efficient sealing technologies. Many of the rotating to static sealing techniques applied today have capabilities limited by the worst case transient gap conditions. More specifically, gaps are set based on the pinch point within the transient response to prevent rubbing and or damage to the sealing device of the rotating and stationary components. This passive approach to clearance setting results in larger steady-state operating clearances. FTT is proposing an active sealing technique to allow for the tightest clearances at the steady-state operating condition. FTT has engaged in the design, manufacture, and testing of air-riding seal technology that "follows" the target surface through axial and radial transient excursions.
The capability of this sealing approach allows for dramatic improvement in steady-state clearance control and the potential for cooling-air savings. FTT’s initial sub-scale rig testing has confirmed the behavior of the sealing technique and intends to further develop this sealing technique and perform a full scale rig demonstration at engine conditions. Under this program, the reduction in secondary airflow leakage will show efficiency potential leading to the 50 percent integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) efficiency goal.
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