The idea of using gas turbines to power automobiles

The idea of using gas turbines to power automobiles was conceived in the 1930s, and considerable research was done in the 1940s and 1950s to develop automotive gas turbines by major automobile manufacturers such as the Chrysler and Ford corporations in the United States and Rover in the United Kingdom. The world’s first gas-turbine powered automobile, the 200-hp Rover Jet 1, was built in 1950 in the United Kingdom. This was followed by the production of the Plymouth Sport Coupe by Chrysler in 1954 under the leadership of G. J. Huebner. Several hundred gas turbine- powered Plymouth cars were built in the early 1960s for demonstration purposes and were loaned to a select group of people to gather field experience. The users had no complaints other than slow acceleration. But the cars were never mass-produced because of the high production (especially material) costs and the failure to satisfy the provisions of the 1966 Clean Air Act. A gas-turbine-powered Plymouth car built in 1960 had a turbine inlet temperature of 1700°F, a pressure ratio of 4, and a regenerator effectiveness of 0.9. Using isentropic efficiencies of 80 percent for both the compressor and the turbine, determine the thermal efficiency of this car. Also, determine the mass flow rate of air for a net power output of 95 hp. Assume the ambient air to be at 540 R and 14.5 psia.

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