COTES founder, Mr. Serant publishes a book for his 80th birthday
Famous scientist, engineer and COTES founder is celebrating his 80th birthday. Mr. Felix Serant grew quite fast from being a young and talented engineer to a respected director and recognized scientist. He became an example of self-confidence and reliance upon one’s own projects, a hard-working role model and a brilliant mind for several generations of power engineers. Many people who work in the power industry know and respect this astonishing man, everyone appreciates his sociability, sophisticated engineering skills and atypical sensitivity.
Mr. Felix Serant issued a book on this anniversary, in memory of the most interesting and work-rich years of his life. We wish to publish a small extract from this book here on how Mr. Serant began his career with serious scientific developments for the power industry. Even by reading just this single extract, one can imagine the successful path of this scientist and how his qualities were tempered.
Extract from the book by F.A. Serant “Stages of a creative development of Siberia”, Edition of 2019:
“I was born on the 25th of April in 1939 in Pokrovka village, Chita Region. My father served in the border guards. <…> In 1956, after finishing school, I entered the Odessa Polytechnic Institute, joining the Heat and Power Engineering Faculty. <…> During my 3rd year at the Institute, I started working in the laboratory as an assistant to M.I. Shepetukha, who was a postgraduate student studying a dust-air ejector for a stoker-fired boiler cinder-return system. Such a device featured inducing air vortex jet injection from the outside. I wrote a report for the student scientific conference in Minsk based on the results of our studies. It was my first public report.
In the 1950s, there were publications on steam-gas cycles, according to which high-temperature gas works in a separate gas turbine, and steam works in a steam turbine at a lower temperature (based on the characteristics of metal strengths). I made an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of those working agents that has showed the work of a combined gas-steam cycle by using a gas/steam mixture would be more efficient. Neither myself nor the institute’s professors found any similar cycle in the scarce literature of that period. Therefore, together with professor D.I. Rabinovich, we decided to work on a kind of a contact-type combined cycle power plant or CCPP. The whole institute supported this idea and inspired me. For more than half a year, together with three pre-graduation students, we developed and performed calculations of several options for the contact CCPP of a 200 MW unit. Finally, all four of the guys on the team were rewarded with excellent marks toward their diploma, and I presented the report at the city conference of scientific student works. In his feedback to that work on the 8th of April ,1961, professor D.I. Rabinovich noted the following: “The work proposed an interesting and progressive idea to mix the furnace gases of a natural gas-supplied high-pressure steam generator and the steam produced by the same steam generator… based on the analysis and calculations given in the work, I believe that this deserves attention and acceptance… This work by a 5th year student of the heat and power faculty, F.A. Serant, is to be sent to the city conference of student scientific works, because of the originality of the idea, its efficiency and the rather deep elaboration of the subject”. <…>
After my graduating from the institute, professor D.I. Rabinovich called and firmly recommended that I continue with post-graduate studies, but I was passionate about steam and gas technologies. Moreover, professor G.F. Knorre told us that hands-on CCPP studies had been started by the academician S.A. Khristianovich, who had travelled to Novosibirsk along with M.A. Lavrentiev to establish the scientific settlement of Akademgorodok.
All graduate students in that period had to work for a while in accordance with assignments demanded by a ministry. I applied for an assignment available at the Novosibirsk Teploelektroproekt with the hope that it would be easier to join S.A. Khristianovich from there <…>
At the Novosibirsk Teploelektroproekt, I was instructed to develop a system of process pipelines for the Achinskaya CHP Plant that contained a great deal of media and pumps at various pressures. After 10-15 days, I brought my homework calculations and proposals regarding flow circuit simplification, with a considerable reduction of the number of pumps and replacement of them with ejectors, and presented it to my supervisor, M.L. Bruk. Having reviewed the work, she accepted most of the proposals and offered my solution to the chief engineer for discussion them during the technical briefing. The briefing accepted my proposals in general, but they decided to leave the circuit solution unchanged because it would require approval from the central heat and power design bureau in Moscow, which seemed to be impossible because of the deadlines involved. As for me, I decided that working on typical projects in NOTEP, the kind of which had already been developed by someone else, would not be so interesting for me.
By that time, I had met academician Sergei Alekseyevich Khristianovich in a workshop and presented him with my developments and calculations for the contact steam and gas technology. He was surprised that many of them had been made using a logarithmic ruler for 5-6 months and I was surprised, in my turn, that he’d had a computing device that would have been able to perform all calculations in 1-2 weeks. Mr. Khristianovich was ready to engage me on his team because of my courage and passion about contact CCPPs… However, my application for dismissal or transfer to S.A. Khristianovich was denied by NOTEP. <…>”.
Read more about the biography of F.A. Serant on the website, in “Management” section.
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