The aim of the research project is to develop new methods for the performance simulation and gas path diagnostics of the steam cycle equipment of combined cycle gas turbine power plants. The new knowledge will be very useful for performance analysis, condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance of combined cycle gas turbine power plants.

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Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Centre for Propulsion Engineering, Cranfield University, in the area of gas path diagnostics for a gas turbine combined cycle power plant. The research is in collaboration with Manx Utilities, Isle of Man, UK.

Cranfield has developed a unique methodology and software to analyse the health of gas turbine engines as well as to simulate and analyse the performance of combined cycle power plants. The research in this area at Cranfield will be a good starting point for the proposed project.  The objective of the research is to further develop the gas path diagnostic methodology and analysis tool and apply the technology to the health analysis of a combined cycle power plant. The critical components for the analysis will be the once-through steam generator, steam turbine, condenser, etc. Corresponding computer software will be developed. This is to support the condition-based maintenance and operation of the power plant.   

The Centre for Propulsion Engineering has a key focus and a proven track record on gas turbine performance, gas path diagnostics, combined cycles, lifing, novel cycles, etc., which has been built up over the last 50 years. This provides a unique capability to assist engineers in new engine and power plant designs and support the users in optimizing the profits of gas turbine and power plant operations, improving power system availability and reducing maintenance costs.

The history of gas turbine engineering at Cranfield dates back to 1946 and the foundation of the Institution. The Centre for Propulsion Engineering contributes and focuses on gas turbines for aerospace, marine and energy applications, the sectors where Europe and Britain are world leaders and major exporters. This high technology global industry is worth more than £30 billion per annum. Current challenges are arising from the need to address environmental issues and the changing economic climate. These challenges have created an environment where a large return can be accrued from an investment in gas turbines and related power system research and education.  

Manx Utilities was created in 2014 following the merge of the Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority and the Manx Electricity Authority. They are a Statutory Board of the Isle of Man Government sponsored by the Department of Infrastructure. It has a gas turbine combined cycle power plant to generate electricity to power the whole Isle of Man.   

It is expected the research will generate new methods and knowledge for performance simulation and gas path diagnostics of the combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants. The new knowledge will be very useful to guide condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance of CCGT power plants. 

Close communication with the industrial sponsor is expected and necessary visits to the company will be funded to assist the student to get first-hand information and experience of combined cycle gas turbine power plant operation and condition monitoring. The student may also have opportunities to join some of the MSc courses and CPD short courses relevant to the research and attend and publish papers in international conferences.   

As the outcome of the research, the student will obtain first-hand knowledge and experience of combined cycle gas turbine power plant operation, develop research capability and contribute new knowledge and skills of CCGT performance and gas path diagnostics. Such knowledge, skills and capability will enhance the student's employment opportunities in both academic institutions and power generation industry.

At a glance

  • Application deadline31 Aug 2019
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date30 Sep 2019
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of World
  • Reference numberSATM115

Supervisor

Dr Yiguang Li

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. An MSc degree or experience in thermodynamics, gas turbine combined cycle power generation, performance modelling, and computer programming skills will be an advantage.

Funding

Both home/EU and rest of the world (overseas) candidates are eligible for the funding. For home and EU student candidates, the funding will cover 100% of the tuition fees and majority of the living expenses. For overseas candidates, the funding will cover 100% of the tuition fees while the student is expected to pay his or her living expenses.

About the sponsor

Sponsored by Manx Utilities and Cranfield University.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.


How to apply

For further information please contact:      
Name:  Dr Yiguang Li
Email: i.y.li@cranfield.ac.uk
T:
(0) 1234 750111 Ext: 4723

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form.