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Compact LXI Data Acquisition System
Saves Gas Turbine Manufacturer Time and Ensures Reliability

By Tom Sarfi, VTI Instruments

Today’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery products require cutting edge technology and superior performance to meet the world’s most demanding energy requirements. Gas turbine systems are primarily used in auxiliary electric power generation to manage peak loading conditions or for emergency power generation. Using gas turbines, power utility companies as well as various other industrial companies, can reduce their dependency on costly primary sources of power since these generators can be located anywhere and used as power needs fluctuate.

In simplistic terms, a gas turbine produces power by compressing air mixed with burning fuel that is expanded through spinning turbine blades to drive a generator and convert the spinning energy into electricity. Gas turbines range in size from very small units to larger combined cycle generators capable of generating up to 300 MW of power by utilizing advanced materials and technologies. In order to produce such high power levels, much higher turbine inlet temperatures and corresponding cooling systems are required. As a result, sophisticated data acquisition systems are needed in order to ensure the behavior of the turbine at such extreme temperatures.


Figure 1: Gas Turbine Assembly

Testing is a critical aspect of gas turbine manufacturing. Typical tests involve recording, measuring and analyzing the physical characteristics associated with gas turbines to ensure their reliability and efficiency. The most common measurements taken are temperature (inlet/outlet gas), pressures, loads, and torque. High-performance test instrumentation is required during research & development to improve the efficiency of new designs as well as ensure the reduction of undesirable gas emissions and during production or startup testing at the time of installation to verify proper setup and ensure reliability.


Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor


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New LXI Products

The LXI Consortium has certified more than 2172 instruments in over 231 product families since the specifications were first released in September 2005. Some of the recent LXI product introductions are highlighted below (in order of submission):

Hitech HTLX3730A: LXI 100MSPS Arbitrary Waveform Generator
The HTLX3730A is a 100Ms/s arbitrary waveform generator featuring 43MHz maximum output rate (sine) and up to 256MB of onboard memory.

Spectrum Digitizer DN2.4xx
The digitizerNETBOX DN2.46x series allows recording of one, two, four, eight or 16 synchronous channels with sampling rates of 200 kS/s up to 3 MS/s.

Tektronix AWG AWG70000A
The need for high-performance arbitrary waveform generation is broad and spans a wide array of applications. The industry-leading AWG70000A Series arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) represents the cutting edge in performance, sample rate, signal fidelity, and waveform memory.

Agilent 34461A Digital Multimeter, 6½ Digit, 34401A Replacement, Truevolt DMM
Display DMM results in ways you never have before
Color, graphical display with built-in bar chart, histogram, trend, math, and statistics
I/O: USB, LAN/LXI, GPIB (optional)
DMM Connectivity Utility software enables control, capture and views of your DMM's data on your PC or mobile device with a single click

Tabor Electronics Signal Sources - High Speed AWGs
The WaveXciter Series can generate literally any waveform, at frequencies up to 1GHz with 8 digits of resolution and 1 point granularity.

R&S FSW50 Signal and Spectrum Analyzer
The R&S FSW50 signal and spectrum analyzer characterizes wideband signals continuously up to 50 GHz.



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