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NNWN/02/04/2022

Efforts to build fuel-efficient and less polluting next-generation gas turbines are expected to get a major boost with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras and the American multinational firm, General Electric (GE), establishing a state-of-the-art expanded gas turbine combustor testing facility at the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at IIT-Madras.

In any gas turbine engine, the combustor is one of the most essential parts dictating fuel efficiency and the extent of pollution released into the atmosphere. Several improved combustor concepts have emerged recently, intending to reduce pollution. However, bringing these concepts into reality requires testing the designs under realistic operating conditions. Unfortunately, only a few labs in the world have such capability. This new high-pressure test facility at NCCRD, IIT Madras, is expected to bridge this gap.

The facility was inaugurated on Thursday in the presence of Mr Alok Nanda, CEO, GE India Technology Centre and CTO - GE South Asia, Mr Vikram Reddy, General Manager, Engineering, India, GE Aviation, Prof. V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, and Prof. S.R. Chakravarthy, Coordinator, NCCRD, IIT Madras.

Mr Nanda said, “I look at this gas turbine combustion testing facility as a national asset. Best research work happens wherever there is collaborative work and access to funding from companies and the government. This facility is an example of how to undertake research in India in a manner that makes India independent in solving problems.”

Prof. Kamakoti noted that for the last 20 years, IIT Madras has been focusing on building Aatmanirbhar Bharat projects and said the institution is requesting General Electric to consider IIT Madras to be their top partner in the case of any academic venture that they are planning to have across the globe. “The institute has the vision to train more students from below the poverty line, give them access to the facilities and make them competent for the industry standards”, he added