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Activities Around The Sr 30 Minilab At Penn State

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Experiences with the TTL Turbojet Engine

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.162.1 - 8.162.11



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Paper Authors

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Horatio Perez-Blanco

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

"Session 1133"

ACTIVITIES AROUND THE SR-30 MINILAB at PSU H. Perez-Blanco Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering The Pennsylvania State University

We build over sand. But we must build as if it were rock J. L. Borges


The installation and operational experience with the SR-30 minilab is described. The minilab is part of an Energy Systems Lab, where students can operate a number of small thermal/vibration demonstrators systems. The SR-30 is an excellent point-demonstrator of the unique capabilities of turbomachines. The turbine installation required some non-permanent building modifications, which are briefly described. The operation has been smooth, except that a fuel leak led to a change in fuel supplier. Whereas well-instrumented systems are necessary for experimental analysis, it was found that student interest and motivation ensue from format-free discussions around design and functional aspects of gas turbines. Hence, along with student-calculated parameters for the SR-30, a brief description of activities leading to free-flowing technical discourse is included. Our experience accommodates the qualitative conclusion that the SR-30 clearly enhances the teaching of gas turbines and thermodynamics.

Introduction Higher learning in the Engineering endeavor is seldom devoid of the need for experimentation. As Ferguson (1) has unequivocally argued, development of engineers calls for insightful blends of theory and practice. Definition and implementation of experiments that capture an important aspect of science or technology is crucial to the endeavor. Experiments that unleash the imagination and creativity of participants are deemed successful in our scale. The department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at PSU has supported for a few years now a thermal system lab that endeavors to ignite interest and creativity in energy conversion. These creative activities are often called for in the literature, (2, 3, 4) as a component to render engineering education more adaptable and responsive to present needs.

The Energy Systems lab (5) hosts an IC engine, a steam engine, a refrigerator test stand, an IC engine vibration test stand, a mini wind tunnel to visualize separation, a gas turbine display stand, and its latest acquisition, the SR-30. The lab purpose is to illustrate the many aspects (i.e. efficiency, environment, instrumentation, functionality, and integration of many engineering and other disciplines) that lead to an effective conversion technology. The SR-30, however, was acquired with a single purpose in mind, namely the illustration of the high power densities possible with turbomachinery.

The SR-30 is a small thrust demonstration unit, capable of high rotational speeds, (up to 78000 rpm, but possibly higher in our unit), and consequently of high energy densities. Whereas IC

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2003, American Society for engineering Education

Perez-Blanco, H. (2003, June), Activities Around The Sr 30 Minilab At Penn State Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11765

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