The facility, which was inaugurated on Thursday, March 31, will test combustors at high pressure, realistic operating conditions, with a focus on creating fuel-efficient gas turbines

The National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at IIT Madras has bagged the honour of being the first educational institution to possess an Expanded Gas Turbine Combustor Testing Facility on its premises. The facility, which will be used to test combustor designs, was inaugurated on Thursday, March 31.

At IIT Madras, the facility will be used by students and professors alike in their research of high-pressure combustion, to understand the physics of combustion and further the understanding of gas turbine research. It will also be open to use for start-ups and combustion designs tested at the facility are expected to hit the market soon. The focus will be on creating fuel-efficient gas turbines that cause lesser pollution. India, for its part, has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2070.

The facility was set up in collaboration with US-based General Electric (GE) and what sets it apart is the fact that it is one of very few such labs around the world that provide high-pressure realistic operating conditions to test the combustors. The set-up comprises six screw compressors with a combined electric load of 1.5 MW and a 1 MW electric air heater. It includes a water spray circuit to cool down the flue gases, which can pump up water up to 2kg/s at 20 bar, in an operation that is fully automated.

Prof V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, spoke at the launch. He lauded the collaboration with GE and proposed IIT Madras being their top partner in any academic venture taken up by them.