Gas turbine real-time thermal imaging
To achieve good thermodynamic efficiency, the exhaust gas exiting the combustor should have high temperature in gas turbines. However, this can cause thermal cracks on the rotating turbine blades. Thus, the blades must be actively cooled, and the temperature of the blades should be monitored. We are developing an online thermal monitoring system using a short-wave infrared (SWIR) camera and custom optics tube (similar to Figure 1) to obtain surface temperature maps of the blades non-destructively in real-time, while the blades are rotating. This will help identify problems such as thermal barrier coating (TBC) spallation, cooling hole blockages, and film cooling deficiencies.
Figure 1. IR camera blade monitoring system on a gas turbine