SCITEK Supports ETI Project to Investigate the Safe use of Hydrogen Base Fuels in Power Generation

A £2 million project to advance the safe design and operation of gas turbines, reciprocating engines and combined heat & power systems using hydrogen based fuels has been launched by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI.)  ETI is a public private partnership between six global industrial companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government who’s tasked with developing “mass scale” technologies that will help the UK meet its 2020 and 2050 energy targets.

Through new modelling and large-scale experimental work the ETI project is looking to identify the bounds of safe design and operation of high efficiency CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) and CHP (combined heat and power) systems operating on a range of fuels with high and variable concentrations of hydrogen.

The goals of the project are to increase the range of fuels that can be safely used in power and heat generating plant by:

  • In identifying the boundaries of safe design and operation of power generation systems using hydrogen based fuels; and
  • Identifying improvements in the detailed design and instrumentation of hydrogen fuelled power systems in order to deliver more robust and inherently safer system designs.

SCITEK’s involvement with the ETI project is to assist in the design, manufacture and instrumentation of a scaled down experimental rig that features a small gas turbine engine (RR Viper 201) to provide hot gas flow.

SCITEK has also assessed the mixing characteristics of the proposed gas injection system utilising CFD modelling of high temperature, compressible gas jets in cross flow, with species transport.

Combustor Spectroscopic Probes


The Problem: Geometrical variations of components that introduce both the fuel and air into Gas Turbine combustion chambers on industrial engines have been found to produce variations in both the pilot and main fuel and air flow rates. This leads to variations in combustor performance and has implications for engine performance, emissions and durability.... Read more

Piston Seal Test Rig

The Problem: To develop a test rig capable of testing pairs of polymeric seals under application representative conditions, running continuously for several years. The seals need to be operated under pressure and subjected to temperatures ranging from -50°C to 300°C. The rig needs to be able to control pressure and temperature as well as having the ability to simulate both large low frequency and small high frequency axial displacements.... Read more

Wind Tunnel Seeder

The Problem: As part of any LDV and PIV measurements seeding particles need to be introduced into the flow. For large size wind-tunnels the volume of air going through them is large and “off the shelf” seeding generators cannot produce the density of seeding required. Smoke generators are the only devices that can generate large quantity of seeding and produce sub-micron particles. In LDV applications the small aperture of the receiving optics combined with the small size of the smoke particles produces weak signals and low data rates. In PIV applications the interrogation areas in large wind tunnels are required to be large and smoke particles are not ideal because they produce weak signals (or necessitate the use of high power lasers).... Read more

SCITEK supplies a Cold Neutron Radiography Machine worth £1.2m

CNRF OverView

SCITEK Consultants Ltd, in conjunction with RadSci Consultancy Ltd, have designed and manufactured a complete Cold Neutron Radiography facility for installation on one of the beamlines of a nuclear reactor at a Chinese research centre.

The Cold Neutron Radiography system uses neutrons to build up three-dimensional pictures of the interiors of static objects or of operating machinery , highlighting the presence within them of the hydrogen present in water, oil, fuel or corrosion products. This imaging technique is similar to X-Rays and can be used to identify internal corrosion in aircraft components, to study internal capillary passageways in plants and to identify the make up or the presence of damage due, for example, to corrosion in bronze components of archaeological objects.

 The equipment includes:- the main neutron shutter, an automated neutron aperture selector, an 11m long vacuum flight tube, neutron beam profiler, 3-axis object handling system (up to 300 kg objects), turntable for neutron tomography (up to 25kg objects) and a neutron imaging system based on an Andor iKon-L 4 Mpixel cooled CCD camera and neutron-sensitive scintillation screen.

 Scitek and RadSci have also designed the neutron beam stop for the Chinese customer to manufacture. All components of the system are controlled from one of three PCs by the customised software (based on LabVIEW).  Also included in the system are the programs Octopus for CT reconstruction and VGStudio Max for 3D image display and analysis.

Aeroengine Fuel Control Test Rig

The Problem: To design and manufacture a hydro mechanical test rig that can be used in the commissioning of aero engine fuel supply and control systems. The rig needed to be capable of testing fuel systems ranging from those used on small business jets to those used on large engines powering long haul jumbos. The rig needed to have increased functionality to improve testing efficiency and reduce downtime. The main purpose of the rig was to flow Kerosene through the fuel system components at a range of pressures, temperatures, and fuel flow rates accurately replicating conditions that the engine will experience in a flight cycle operated in different parts of the world. The entire rig had to be contained within a pre-determined space envelope, yet still achieve target removal and installation times of major components during maintenance so that rig down time was as short as possible.... Read more