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New Gas Turbine Control System Under Development

June 30, 2005

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are busy developing an advanced active control system for gas turbines that detects and automatically corrects instabilities in the combustion process.

Dr. Ben T. Zinn, David S. Lewis Jr., chair and regents professor at Georgia Tech calls the systems “smart combustors,” and believes they are poised to make a breakthrough in the gas turbine industry.

The active controller under research at Georgia Tech integrates monitoring, data analysis, and modulation in a single sophisticated system. The system features powerful optical and acoustic sensing facilities. It detects instabilities in turbine combustion, and in the same process executes changes to return the system to an acceptable level of efficiency and environmental safety. The system can also modify fuel injection rates and fuel mix, among other combustion characteristics.

Dr. Zinn discussed his award-winning paper “Smart Combustors – Just Around the Corner,” in June at the 2005 ASME TURBO EXPO.

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