Research at the Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design (LAMD) is focused on the design and experimental investigation of small scale turbomachinery for decentralized energy conversion. Typical applications range from small scale gas turbines, compressors for domestic heat pumps to high speed expanders for waste heat recovery using Organic Rankine Cycles. Particular emphasis is given to the domestic and the transportation sector. Scaling laws for turbomachinery dictate increasingly small tip diameters and rising rotational speeds while lowering conversion powers. Hence, key research activities include thorough theoretical and experimental study of high-speed bearing technologies and their effect on dynamic rotor behavior. A particular emphasis is put on dynamic, gas lubricated bearing technologies. Furthermore the laboratory specializes in integrated mechanical design and optimization methodologies.

The LAMD seeks strong ties with industry as well as with other academic institutions connecting its research with “real world” problems through collaborative projects. From an educational perspective, links to the industrial world enable a vivid exchange of knowledge and ideas, and give the students an opportunity to work directly for outside sponsors.

Slow motion microturbine wheel

Falling liquid water droplet next to a microturbine wheel running at ~65 kRPM (~1100 revolution per second, 30% of the maximal speed of the turbine). The frame rate is 15000 fps