Propulsion Systems

The CSIR is currently expanding its activities in gas turbine infrastructure which includes computational clusters, a one and half stage low speed turbine test rig, cascade and turbine test facilities, an atmospheric combustor test rig, a full suite of pressure probes, hot wire anemometry, laser Doppler velocimetry and particle image velocimetry.

Their research focuses on gas turbines as well as on concentrating solar power. The work on gas turbines includes cycle modelling, efficiency enhancement and life extension. The efforts on concentrating solar power have focussed on heliostat design, ray-tracing, glint and glare analysis, as well as system modelling.

This group has worked with all the major engine manufacturers including GE, Rolls-Royce, Volvo Aero and Klimov in domains ranging from compressor flutter, turbine aero-thermodynamics and cooling, secondary cooling circuits, and turbine design and cycle analysis. A variety of experimental techniques are used and the team has access to rotating and cascade facilities as well as specialist computational codes for fluid dynamics and empirical analysis codes.

The CSIR is currently in various stages of development of a 200 Newton (N) turbojet engine for radio controlled models, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and target drones, a 600 N advanced cycle turbojet engine for Glider Sustainers, UAVs, target drones and weapons system applications, as well as a 3 kilo-Newton (kN) turbojet engine using the Apartment APA 350 engine, built in South Africa during the early 1990s, as baseline.
The goals for these developments also include upgrades of turbofans and turbo shafts of the 3 kN engine, with applications in rail transport, and remote power generation for shale gas sites in mind.

John Morgan
Telephone number: 012 841 2738

Kimal Hiralall
Telephone number: 012 841 3187