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OneTouch™ Eases Turbine Engine Operation

Posted in: Gas Turbine Lab, General News

System Automates, Monitors MiniLab™ Gas Turbine Power System

To further enhance MiniLab™ Gas Turbine Power System operation, Turbine Technologies, LTD is introducing the OneTouch™ Gas Turbine Auto Start System. What was once an involved procedure of manipulating several switches at critical times has now been simplified through the touch of a button.

"As simple and reliable as jet engines are, their operation can be rather intimidating," said Tom Kutrieb, VP of Engine Manufacturing at Turbine Technologies. "The proper procedures, executed in the right order, and with regard to certain critical parameters are necessary to start any turbine engine. Failure to follow the correct steps may lead to a poorly running or possibly damaged engine. The OneTouch automatically performs both the start sequencing and engine monitoring functions of the MiniLab's SR-30 engine, relieving the operator of these tasks."

The OneTouch™ system is a fully integrated, microprocessor based controller designed to precisely manage all aspects of MiniLab™ operation without compromising the main objective of engineering education.

"A recent survey of our current MiniLab operators confirmed that the MiniLab system is a valuable tool for the study of gas turbine theory and operation. Unfortunately, some colleges and universities perceive the MiniLab to be a little too valuable in that only a few, designated individuals are actually allowed to run the unit," Mr. Kutrieb said. "The true educational value of the MiniLab is diminished if the operator becomes preoccupied with basic systems monitoring. With the OneTouch, anyone can run the engine, experience the noise and excitement of a jet engine firsthand and fully concentrate on data gathering or other educational goals without directly having to worry about engine operational limits."

Operation of the MiniLab™ with the OneTouch™ is intuitive and straightforward. A green start button commences the start operation. System status is provided via an operator display screen on the main instrument panel. The system can be stopped at any time by pressing the easily recognized, red stop button.

Electronic monitoring ensures all temperature and RPM limits are maintained. If any parameter is exceeded, the OneTouch™ system commands a safe and immediate shutdown of the engine. The operator is then alerted to the cause.

The OneTouch™ system records all start/stop cycles and total engine run time. Other diagnostic functions determine system parameters such as fuel and oil level.

Both hardware and software of the OneTouch™ is designed to be extensible, making incorporation of additional features and future enhancements an easy affair.

The OneTouch™ is now standard on all production MiniLab™ systems. An upgrade package is also available for current MiniLab™ operators.