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Best Explanation of PW 100 Engine & Its Parts
The PW 100 engine series is the leader in modern, premium regional and commuter turboprop engines. With its three-spool design, easy-to-maintain modular construction and high power, the engine is a logical choice for medium to large turboprops including the Bombardier Q400, DeHavilland Dash 8 and Embraer EMB 120. Some consider the PW 100 a replacement for the venerable PT6, but in reality the PW 100 picks up where the PT6 Large version left off in terms of power, fuel economy and reliability. The PW 100 series consists of a number of variations. There is no actual PW 100 engine; engines start with the PW118 engine and end with the PW127J.
The engines are essentially the same, with mostly constant increases in power output, as well as slight variations in engine output speed and in the ratio of mechanical shaft horsepower to thrust produced. In other words, each turboprop is rated in equivalent shaft horsepower, (eshp) which is a combination of the actual mechanical horsepower delivered at the output shaft combined with the amount of horsepower available as a conversion of the thrust produced at the exhaust pipe. The proportion varies, but is usually in the range of 80% of the power produced by the propeller, 20% produced by the exhaust pipe.
The powerful PW 100 engine model is completely modular in its construction; that is, it consists of a series of interchangeable modules that can be easily removed and replaced in case of engine problems. The modules consist of a turbomachine, a power turbine assembly, an input housing and an output reducer. The compact turbo engine consists of a gas generator with a double spool and an auxiliary gearbox. The power turbine connects to the rear of the turbomachine and has a two-stage power turbine that drives a shaft that extends forward toward the center of the turbomachine shaft. The inlet housing is placed on the front part of the turbomachine and provides space for drawing air into the compressor and support for the output reducer. The output reduction gearbox mounts to the front of the input housing and takes the high speed input from the drive turbine shaft and converts it to a high torque, low rpm output which is removed from the propeller flange at the front of the gearbox.
Atmospheric air is drawn through the engine nacelle behind the propeller into a passive particle separator, which is part of the nacelle. Clean intake air is drawn upward into the downward-facing spiral-type engine inlet. Air is drawn into the turbomachine by means of a single-stage centrifugal compressor. The compressor accelerates the air outwards and feeds it into numerous curved diffuser channels that smoothly direct the air flow to the face of the single-stage, centrifugal, high-pressure compressor. A high-pressure compressor boosts the pressure to a design pressure ratio of nearly 15:1 on some later models. The high-pressure compressor brings the air flow to the diffuser, which converts the dynamic pressure into static pressure, while it enters the annular, reverse flow of the combustion chamber. Compressed air enters the inner combustion jacket where it mixes with jet fuel and ignites. The resulting gas expands through a high-pressure nozzle to impinge on a single-stage axial high-pressure turbine, which drives a high-pressure compressor and auxiliary gearbox. The gas then expands further through a low-pressure nozzle to drive a low-pressure turbine, which drives a low-pressure compressor. Finally, the gas expands through a two-stage drive turbine to drive a concentric shaft to the front of the engine, which drives a power reduction transmission. Exhaust is then routed from a short, axial-flow, fixed-area exhaust port to provide close to 2,000 lbs. thrust on some popular PW-100 engine models. A reduction gearbox reduces turbine speed to a useful 1,200 or 1,300 rpm, to drive the four-bladed constant-speed propeller. Additional equipment includes generator, oil pumps, fuel pumps, hydraulic pumps and FADEC fuel control.
A twin compressor offers many advantages over similar single compressors. By allowing the two compressors to operate at different speeds, the compressors can optimize a wide range of airflow. This allows for a higher design pressure ratio, much better efficiency of the power part and very fast engine response. The high pressure ratios and high inlet temperatures of the turbine enable very low specific fuel consumption, and advanced cooling techniques and state-of-the-art materials enable long time between overhaul periods.
There are several other variants of the PW 100 worth mentioning. The PW150 engine is a development of the high-powered PW 100; in overall design and dimensions it is very similar to the PW 100, except that the low-pressure compressor is a single-stage axial followed by a single-stage centrifugal. The compression ratio is higher at 18:1 and the engine produces power in the 5000 es-hp class, making it a suitable replacement for the Allison T56 or an alternative to the Rolls Royce AE1107C. There are also versions of the PW 100 with a turboshaft, where the output reducer and inlet have been removed and replaced with a shielded bell inlet and support bearing. Engine power is at turbine speed. The engine could be an alternative to the CT7 (T700) turboshaft in medium helicopters, although it has not been used in this application so far. However, there is a naval variant of this turboshaft available for modern warships with surface effect. These models are called ST18M. Power output is approximately 3,200 shaft horsepower.
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