Gas Turbines


Gas turbines are high tech, high efficiency engines that convert chemical energy into work. Their high power to weight ratio make them the engine of choice for aircraft propulsion. Gas turbines are also at the heart of all modern gas fired power stations making electrical efficiencies above 60% possible. Beside the high power to weight ratio and the high cycle efficiency other advantages of gas turbines are the low emissions, the flexibility in operation and the applicability of the high grade waste heat either in a bottoming steam cycle or for industrial objectives.

Gas Turbine chair

The Gas Turbine chair at the department of Process and Energy of Mechanical Engineering (3ME) at the TU Delft has a long history in delivering high level education and world class research in the field of gas turbines. The chair is financially supported by the SGO (Stichting Gasturbine Onderwijs) and has excellent relationships with the Dutch and international gas turbine industry.


The research field of gas turbines covers a broad range of engineering sciences that all come together in the gas turbine (system) design: aerodynamics, combustion, material engineering, thermodynamics, structural engineering, vibrations, controls, acoustics etc.

The research at the Gas Turbine chair focuses mainly on application of land based gas turbine (power generation and combined heat & power). The Gas Turbine chair has close cooperation with the other chairs within the Process and Energy Department, the Flight Performance and Propulsion department at Aerospace Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Department at 3ME.

The main research areas of the Gas Turbine chair are:

-          Flexibility of gas turbine operation
Alternative fuels & combustion
Impact of operations on gas turbine performance

An overview of the research background and of the research chair is provided in the presentation of Prof. Klein’s inaugural lecture. The presentation (in Dutch) is available for download here.

Flexibility of gas turbine operation

The rapid growth of renewable generation has modified the role of combined cycle power stations. Due to the strong increase of intermittent renewable sources, (solar, wind) the key feature for the operational excellence of combined cycle power stations is flexibility.

Research themes are:

-         Improve part load efficiency by the application of flue gas recirculation (see also the project FlueFlex)

-         Optimization of start up of gas turbine based installations using model based control

Alternative fuels & combustion

Due to the increasing focus on the reduction of carbon emissions in combination with the increasing share of renewable future land based gas turbine installations will run on other fuels like hydrogen or (waste) gases from biomass gasification. In the meantime the requirements with respect to NOx emissions will also become sharper.

Research themes are:

-         Impact of flue gas recirculation on flame stability and emissions

-         Fully premixed hydrogen combustion in gas turbine applications

-         Application of biomass gasification gases

-         Thermo-acoustics

Impact of operations on gas turbine performance

The increased flexible operation and the application of other non-conventional fuels will have serious impact on the hardware and the the performance of the gas turbine.

Research themes are:

- Reducing stresses during CCGT power plant start up

- Big data analysis and machine learning for asset performance improvement


Prof. Dr. Ir. Sikke Klein:
Dr. Ir Johan Steimes: