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The PETAL team research objectives cover both advanced turbine research as well as high-risk turbine research. Regarding advanced turbine research we study unconventional turbine designs, rotor tip flows, the stator rim – rotor platform flow-field, and combustor turbine interactions. The high risk turbine research covers bladeless turbines, supersonic turbines, detonation based engines and high speed propulsions. In all areas we apply optimization strategies, pioneering heat flux prediction methods and unique experimental facilities.A. ADVANCED TURBINE RESEARCH

Aerothermal characterization and optimization of turbines


The turbine tip leakage flow is one of the main contributor to the losses production mechanism. Optimal designs of the turbine tip shape may result in a significant improvement of the turbine efficiency as well as in a reduction of the heat load.

Inverse heat flux methodologies 


Figure caption from L-R:  a) Inverse method concept. b) Microelectronics application. c) Turbine heat transfer application.

Inverse methods solves ill-posed problems where the boundary conditions are not well defined and the only information given is the solution and certain parameters of the problem. We have developed two in-house inverse heat transfer methodologies. In the application of the inverse method to heat transfer, our input is a map of temperature and our output is the heat flux that generated this distribution of temperatures or any other unknown thermal parameter of the system. These inverse methods can be applied to turbine research and other fields like microelectronics, in collaboration with the MTEC laboratory.

PETAL has developed new tools to evaluate new engine intake geometries, for small gas turbine engines.



Supersonic and Bladeless turbines

Supersonic turbines in which the axial Mach number is supersonic are designed via an in-house method of characteristics solver combined with a turbulent boundary layer correction. Bladeless turbines are turbines which operate without blades and in which the hub rotates via viscous/ and or pressure forces.


Revolutionary engine concepts based on detonation

Detonation based engines offer a potential surge in thermodynamic efficiency. Our team focuses on the integration of these new combustors with turbomachinery.