A Comprehensive Guide to Gas Turbine Control Systems


Gas turbines are the most common method used to power modern aircraft and generate thrust. As a form of combustion engine, gas turbines typically consist of a centrifugal air compressor, combustion chamber, and a large turbine which is rotated by the force of expanding gas during combustion. To safeguard the combustion process from potential faults, there are several control systems at work in the engine. These control systems include the lubrication of the oil system, and fuel system, alongside the fire, gas detection, and suppression system. Such systems come with their own set of processes which will be covered here, along with some helpful information for buying gas turbine system parts.

The first type of control system used in a gas turbine engine is the lubrication oil system, also known as the lube oil system which is responsible for greasing all the bearings in the turbine so that they work smoothly with minimal wear. Beside simply lubricating a bearing assembly, lubricants are also used for cleaning, cooling, and sealing, as well as helping to fight corrosion and rust in the engine. As such, the lube oil control system also includes various filters and a cooler which dissipates the heat of the oil returning from the bearings before sending it back into the assembly. 
 
Next, there is the fuel system, and its role is to regulate the fuel supply for efficient combustion. A proper fuel system should deliver a steady flow of fuel from the tanks to the engine so it doesn't miss a beat, regardless of the aircraft’s power setting or attitude. Fuel systems will either be gravity fed, such as in many high-wing aircraft, or they may employ fuel pumps which are required by low-wing aircraft and those with fuel-injected engines. Regardless of the manner in which it is fed to the engine, fuel must always be filtered and controlled so that it has the proper quality and amount to be released for burning. To accomplish this, most fuel systems use various gauges to measure and maintain the appropriate pressure, velocity, and quantity of fuel used in each engine cycle.
  
As a system that relies on fuel combustion for its power, gas turbines always come equipped with a fire, gas detection and suppression system which are housed in the turbine casing. Additionally, fire detection systems installed in the engines often include protective wiring that detect unintended temperature increases and send electrical signals to the smoke detector computer which can then alert the pilot(s). Meanwhile, the fire extinguishing system consists of canisters of CO2 gas which can be flooded into the engine housing to suppress the flames. A pilot can operate the fire extinguisher handle from the cockpit to shut off all sources, such as electrical power, pneumatic power, and fuel, in addition to releasing the CO2 gas. To detect gas leaks before they can lead to a fire, another type of sensor is present which measures and indicates the concentration of certain gasses in the air. Upon sensing the specified amount of a gas, the gas detection system will send out an auditory and/or visual alert to the pilot(s) in the cockpit. 
 
If you find yourself in need of parts for your gas turbine control system or other aircraft components, rely on Jet Parts 360. We are a premier distributor of aircraft products and aerospace parts, all of which have been sourced from reputable manufacturers across the globe. More than that, our widespread network guarantees expedited shipping on all orders, whether you are located domestically or internationally. Start the purchasing process with a competitive quote using our instant RFQ service and see how Jet Parts 360 can serve as your strategic sourcing partner. For additional questions about the products and services we offer, you may call or email us directly; we are available 24/7x365!

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