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Apparatus and method for testing jet engine fuel manifold flow distribution

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Robert D. Mitchell, John R. Webber, Joseph M. Oloffo, Michael S. Englund

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An apparatus and method for testing the flow distribution through a turbine engine fuel manifold and one or more nozzles connected to the manifold. A plurality of individual fluid measurement vessels, at least one for each of the nozzles being tested, collects test fluid pumped through the manifold and the connected nozzles. The level in each of the measurement vessels is periodically sampled during the test. The test fluid flow rate through each of the nozzles is periodically determined based on the periodically sampled levels.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a simplified schematic cross section view of a turbofan jet engine;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a jet engine fuel manifold that may be used in the turbofan jet engine depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a machine for testing fuel manifold flow distribution according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of a test fluid supply unit which forms a portion of the machine depicted in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of a flow test unit which forms a portion of the machine depicted in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 depicts a cross section side view of a single measurement vessel taken along line

6

6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 depicts a front view of a control unit which forms a portion of the machine depicted in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 depicts a block diagram of the circuitry associated with each of the various sensors used in the machine depicted in FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 depicts a block diagram of the circuitry associated with each of the various pumps and control valves used in the machine depicted in FIG. 3;

FIG. 10 depicts a block diagram of the circuitry associated with various remotely controlled throttle valves used in the machine depicted in FIG. 3;

FIG. 11 illustrates an exemplary user interface screen display provided on a display device which forms a portion of the control unit depicted in FIG. 7;

FIGS. 12A and 12B depict a process for testing jet engine fuel manifold flow distribution using the machine depicted in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 13 depicts an example of the content and format of a computer printout providing the results of the testing processes depicted in FIGS.

12A and

12B.

Claims

1. An apparatus for testing fluid flow distribution through a turbine engine fuel manifold and one or more fuel nozzles connected thereto, the apparatus comprising:

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the fuel manifold includes a primary line and a secondary line, and wherein the one or more test fluid supply lines comprises:

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

4. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

6. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising:

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

8. The apparatus of claim 7, further comprising:

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

10. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising:

11. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising:

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the drain valves are operated in response to commands issued by the computer.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the measurement vessels comprises:

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the first vessel includes a substantially transparent portion proximate the nozzle receiving portion, whereby a test fluid spray pattern from the fuel nozzle is observable.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the one or more test fluid supply lines each include an in-line valve coupled between the test fluid inlet and test fluid outlet, wherein pressure of the test fluid supplied to the fuel manifold is adjusted by operation of the in-line valves.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the one or more in-line valves are remotely operated.

17. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the one or more remotely operated in-line valves are positioned automatically in response to commands issued by the computer.

18. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the level sensors comprises:

19. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a display device operable to display the level of the test fluid in each of the fluid measurement vessels based on the generated level signals.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the test fluid levels are displayed numerically.

21. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the test fluid levels are displayed graphically.

22. An apparatus for testing fluid flow distribution through a turbine engine fuel manifold and one or more fuel nozzles connected thereto, the apparatus comprising:

23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the fuel manifold includes a primary line and a secondary line, and wherein the one or more test fluid supply lines comprises:

24. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising:

25. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising:

26. The apparatus of claim 25, further comprising:

27. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising:

28. The apparatus of claim 27, further comprising:

29. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising:

30. The apparatus of claim 29, further comprising:

31. The apparatus of claim 29, further comprising:

32. The apparatus of claim 31, wherein the drain valves are operated in response to commands issued by the computer.

33. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein each of the measurement vessels comprises:

34. The apparatus of claim 33, wherein the first vessel includes a substantially transparent portion proximate the nozzle receiving portion, whereby a test fluid spray pattern from the fuel nozzle is observable.

35. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the one or more test fluid supply lines each include an in-line valve coupled between the test fluid inlet and test fluid outlet, wherein pressure of the test fluid supplied to the fuel manifold is adjusted by operation of the in-line valves.

36. The apparatus of claim 35, wherein the one or more in-line valves are remotely operated.

37. The apparatus of claim 36, wherein the one or more remotely operated in-line valves are positioned automatically in response to commands issued by the computer.

38. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein each of the level sensors comprises:

39. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising a display device operable to display the level of the test fluid in each of the fluid measurement vessels based on the generated level signals.

40. The apparatus of claim 39, wherein the test fluid levels are displayed numerically.

41. The apparatus of claim 40, wherein the test fluid levels are displayed graphically.

42. An apparatus for testing fluid flow distribution through a turbine engine fuel manifold and one or more fuel nozzles connected thereto, the apparatus comprising:

43. A method of testing fluid flow distribution through a turbine engine fuel manifold and one or more fuel nozzles connected thereto, the apparatus comprising:

44. The method of claim 43, further comprising:

45. The method of claim 44, wherein the determination of test fluid flow rate variation comprises determining a maximum variation.

46. The method of claim 45, wherein the determination of maximum flow rate variation comprises:

47. The method of claim 43, wherein the tested fuel manifold and nozzles each include a primary and a secondary flow path, and wherein the method further comprises:

48. The method of claim 47, further comprising:

49. The method of claim 47, further comprising:

50. The method of claim 43, further comprising:

51. The method of claim 43, wherein the test fluid volume is periodically determined based on a periodically determined test fluid level in each of the measurement vessels.

52. The method of claim 43, further comprising:

53. The method of claim 43, further comprising:

54. The method of claim 53, wherein the periodically determined test fluid volumes are displayed numerically and graphically.