Microgas turbines are a widespread technology in cogenerative and propulsion applications. Bearings are a key factor in their design and development. The aim of the present research work is the development of the support system for a typical microturbine intended for power generation. To this goal, the present chapter defines the typical requirements of the machine and, afterward, describes the different technologies available to develop the support system of a reliable microturbine. Conventional (rolling element and oil-film) supports and cutting-edge (magnetic, aerodynamic, and aerostatic) bearings are reviewed. Particularly, their suitability to the operating conditions is compared by means of a literature review and elaboration of the relevant data. By analyzing all this information, a new concept for the design of a micro-GT support system is devised. Instead of using a single type of bearing as usual, the new system includes different types in order to take advantage of the best characteristics of each one and, simultaneously, to minimize the effects of the relevant flaws. The innovative support system requires a suitable bearing arrangement, which is compared with the conventional ones. The conceptual design of the innovation is completed by a discussion of its advantages, drawbacks, and prospective improvements.
Part of the book: Bearing Technology