Constant-volume (pressure-gain) combustion cycles show much promise for further increasing the efficiency of modern gas turbines, which in the last decades have begun to reach the boundaries of modern technology in terms of pressure and temperature, as well as the ever more stringent demands on reducing exhaust gas emissions. The thermodynamic model of the gas turbine consists of a compressor with a polytropic efficiency of 90%, a combustor modeled as either a pulse detonation combustor (PDC) or as an isobaric homogeneous reactor, and a turbine, the efficiency of which is calculated using suitable turbine operational maps. A simulation is conducted using the one-dimensional reacting Euler equations to obtain the unsteady PDC outlet parameters for use as turbine inlet conditions. The efficiencies for the Fickett–Jacobs and Joule cycles are then compared. The Fickett–Jacobs cycle shows promise at relatively low compressor pressure ratios, whereas the importance of the harvesting of exhaust gas kinetic energy for the cycle performance is highlighted.

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