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Turbine Engine Systems, Book Review Example

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Book Review

Chapter 12 discusses the turbine engine systems and components that will allow an investigator to achieve a greater understanding of basic operations and therefore features that will allow him or her to assess overall safety. Although the chapter describes many components of the turbine engine, which are all important in their own way, the most essential information I learned in this module involves the cooling and exhaust systems.

Since the engine generates heat to produce output in the form of work, it is extremely important that the cooling system is running regularly to ensure that it doesn’t overheat. According to the chapter, this heat is generated because both fuel and air are burned in a combustion process. The cooling system works by passing air over fins attached to the cylinders or by passing liquid coolant through jackets that surround the cylinders. Fortunately, maintenance of the cooling system isn’t too difficult because cooling only occurs during every fourth stroke of a four stroke cycle engine. Despite this, for the system to work, all of the cooling air must be passed through the inside of the engine. It is interesting to note that if this process did not occur, the internal energy produced by the system would exceed 4000 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure adequate cooling, the cooling system provides air that is in excess of this heat. I found this process to be one of the more interesting ones I learned about in this chapter, because it is difficult to conceive of a machine being able to physically achieve this cooling ratio. 4000 degrees Fahrenheit is so hot that it can kill a large majority of living things; therefore, it is fortunate that the ideal air to fuel ratio is 15:1 so we can avoid this catastrophe.

I also found the exhaust systems process interesting because the exhaust helps rid the engine of all of the byproducts of the chemical reactions that it is involved in. In addition, components of the exhaust system, such as the exhaust duct, help propel the movement of the device the engine is powering. I think that this is highly interesting, again, because of the physics involved in this situation. Simply put, more forward thrust will help a machine move more efficiently. If an exhaust duct is used, the engine’s overall work and movement is being assisted by the exhaust it is producing, which would otherwise serve no purpose. A thermodynamics law of physics states that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this situation, the exhaust leaving the exhaust system in one direction helps propel the machine forward in the opposite direction.

Although I previously discussed only the cooling and exhaust systems as components of the turbine engine that I considered interesting, all of the components are equally important because their proper operation will always contribute towards safe operation of the device that it is powering. In order for an investigator to truly understand the safe operating of a turbine engine, they must understand the components of the engine in mechanistic detail in addition to the physical and chemical processes that drive them. This information is useful because it will be easier for a mechanic or engineer to detect issues with the engine if they have a complete understanding of its processes. For example, if the turbine engine is overheating, there is likely an issue with the cooling system. To diagnose this problem, the mechanic or engineer must first be able to identify the temperature at which the engine is considered to be overheated in addition to observable signs if the overheating, such as smoke. In addition, this person must be able to understand how the coolant is flowing through the cylinders; since there can be several possible issues with the operation of this system, the engineer must be able to determine whether the coolant is flowing improperly due to a mechanistic error or whether the turbine engine is overheating due to a lack of available coolant.

Overall, I believe that it is extremely important for both mechanics and engineers to understand the systems they work with in full detail; only then will they be able to distinguish amongst problems and find a proper solution.

 

References

Genuth, Iddo. (2007). Engine on a Chip, The Future of Things. Retrieved from                                          thefutureofthings.com.

Kamps, Thomas. (2005). Model Jet Engines. Traplet Publications, ISBN 1-900371-91-X.

Kay, Antony. (2002). German Jet Engine and Gas Turbine Development 1930-1945. Airlife         Publishing.

Walsh, Philip P. (2004). Gas Turbine Performance (2nd ed.). John Wiley and Sons.

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