Diesel turbines

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by edik, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. edik
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    edik Junior Member

    Why aren't diesel turbines more popular on small sail and power boats? Alright, the cost, I can see that. But other then that? I can see a lot of pluses in using a diesel turbine on a smaller (35" plus) sail or power boat. It would be much smaller than a conventional diesel engine, noise and vibration level would be at a much lower level thus making life on the boat much more enjoyable. So, what am I missing?
     
  2. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Less noise measured in decibels but in a very annoying frequency band.
    Terribly expensive, not just the engine but also the high reduction gearbox with reverse clutch and high speed starter motor.
    And the fact that unlike a piston engine a turbine needs time to start and reach thermal stability. You can't just turn the key, put it in forward gear and sail away.
     
  3. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    Unless Google is missing something, I could not find reference to a diesel turbine.
    I would expect that the poor thermal efficiency of a turbine would be a limiting factor
    for pleasure craft engines.
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'm greatly relieved to hear that I'm not alone in being utterly ignorant of a "diesel turbine". :D
     
  5. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    The fact that the 'diesel turbine' doesn't seem to exist is one factor which limits their popularity. :D
     
  6. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    RR and GE make them
    Navy ships use them
    Several fast megayachts use them
     
  7. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

  8. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    Can you send me a link? I had never heard of a diesel turbine until this thread.
     
  9. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    RR and GE both make 'gas turbines' not 'diesel turbines'.

    If you're going to post on a technical forum, at least get the lingo correct.
     
  10. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    Nice. Years ago, Solar used to make some very small GT's to run portable water pumps and generators. For the US Army. I had one of them surplus and got it running just for giggles. I don't recall the HP output but it was low.

    Noisy ...very noisy. And generated/radiated a lot of heat too.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Some really fast boats use surplus helicopter turbines. Owners need deep pockets to pay for the constant maintenance though.
     
  12. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    I think the issue is finding a diesel powered turbine at this point.
     
  13. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    And that's why you don't see many gas turbines on sailboats, for example.
    A small diesel engine, say a one- or two-lunger, is perfectly adequate for those times when you want to motor. A relatively simple single-reduction gearbox can mate the engine to the propeller. You don't need a lot of maintenance skills to keep such a setup in good working order: keep the fluids fresh, change filters regularly, etc.

    For higher-powered speed boats, regular IC engines have an edge over gas turbines in that these are relatively compact and don't require a complex gear to mate propeller to power plant. Gas turbines require specialized intake and exhaust plumbing for efficient and safe operation, which takes up space.

    Also, you want to avoid salt water ingestion by the turbine, which can be a problem even on large ships. The complex air intakes on these vessels must be carefully designed and positioned to protect the turbines. The plumbing for gas turbines on ships takes up a lot of volume, which is something that is hard to come by on smaller vessels.
     
  14. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Wrightspeed makes a multi fuel turbine that can operate on diesel. But they are targeting it at delivery vans as part of a diesel-electric hybrid.

    So for a diesel electric hybrid vessel they may work, but probably not any better than a standard diesel installation. There is also a major balance issue, turbines spin at over 100,000 rpm, I am not sure how that would work out being tossed around in bad weather.
     

  15. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    Diesel burning turbines abound. Maybe that is what the OP really meant?

    The T53s in one of our current marine prototype projects burn diesel. So do the turbines in quite a few of our past projects.
     
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