Saturday, August 27, 2011

Piston vs. Gas Turbine Engines

The last few days I've been searching the web, without success, for a nice concise comparison between piston engines and gas turbine engines.  In hindsight, it now appears that my lack of success comes about because both types of engines have their advantages and disadvantages.  And how one engine type compares to the other depends entirely on the particular application.

The main points of comparison between engine types are as follows:

  • power/size and power/weight ratios,

  • thermal efficiency,

  • cost, and

  • reliability and maintenance. 

  • Future Posts: I started this inquiry assuming that a gas turbine would be the clear choice for a small 1-2 kW robotic power plant.  But now I’m not so sure.  In the next few posts I’m going to separately explore each of these areas of comparison with a robot harvester/tender as the target application.

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