Is Laboratory Testing Still Needed for Turbomachinery Development?

by Andrew Provo on May 17, 2018 1:31:41 PM

Historically, testing has played a critical role in the turbomachinery design process and multiple rounds of “design, test, analyze, repeat” where not uncommon.  Today however, the industry seems to be drifting away from development testing. Often, the only scheduled test in a development program is the performance validation test of the first assembled system. I believe this trend exists for three main reasons:

Is the Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Market Reaching Critical Mass?

by Dr. David Schowalter on May 11, 2018 9:13:25 AM

There is obviously a huge amount of interest in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO2) within the energy industry. One reason is because sCO2 Brayton power cycles operate in the same way as other Brayton cycles, but with a much higher power density. This has the potential for greatly reducing the size and cost of equipment. Additionally, efficiencies can reach as high as 40% for an sCO2 system, compared to about 33% for a typical heat recovery system. 

Great Designs Deserve to Shine

by George C. Zitka, P.E. on May 4, 2018 9:18:40 AM

If you are a turbomachinery engineer, you know you can spend days, weeks, or even months analyzing various design iterations, looking for the optimal choice for the application.  When you go to present your final design for review, you want it to look as good as you know it is. Choosing the best post-processor for CFD results can not only save time in creating the desired views, but also show solutions at their best.  Without proper post-processing, your solution can lose that "je ne sais quoi" that made it the best design for the application. In other words - it has to look as good as you know it is.

Many energy recovery, drive cycles (Organic and Steam Rankine cycles) and rocket propulsion cycles require the use of a turbine that operates at low volumetric flow and high-pressure ratio. Additional requirements include low cost, reduced weight, and reduced axial length (for robust rotor dynamics).

Reverse-Brayton Cryocoolers

by Dimitri Deserranno on Apr 19, 2018 2:22:09 PM

Perhaps it is because Spring is so slow to come this year, but I have been thinking a lot about refrigeration and the different types of systems there are. Refrigeration systems that operate below 120° K are commonly referred to as cryocoolers. Figure 1 illustrates the most common usage of cryocoolers in the fields of superconductivity, liquefaction, and infrared sensors. As you can see, cryocoolers cover a wide range in temperatures, cooling loads, and applications.

Many gas turbines with radial compressors utilize a radial-to-axial inlet duct upstream of the first compressor stage. Aside from the fact that flow in the duct generates aerodynamic losses, the flow profiles at the duct exit, delivered to the inlet of the first impeller, also affects the performance of the compressor. 

Electric Pumps for Space Propulsion

by Kerry Oliphant on Apr 5, 2018 12:57:56 PM

The recent success of Rocket Lab, putting small satellites into orbit with its Electron rocket, is a significant milestone in the evolution of space flight.  The Electron rocket is powered by a set of 5,000 lbf thrust Rutherford engines that use battery-powered electric motor-driven pumps to supply the LOX and Kerosene to the thrust chamber.  Battery-powered propellant feed pumps are a leap in technology that will reduce the development time and lower the costs of space flight.

Flow Coefficient and Work Coefficient Applications

by Mark R. Anderson on Mar 29, 2018 4:10:49 PM

In my last blog, I explored the concept of the flow and work coefficient.  In this blog, I will explore the practical application of the two parameters in machine selection and optimization. 

Flow Coefficient and Work Coefficient

by Mark R. Anderson on Mar 22, 2018 12:00:25 PM

Two often used quantities to characterize turbomachinery are flow coefficient and work coefficient.  The two are generally represented as Φ for flow coefficient and φ for work coefficient.  The mathematical definition for the two quantities are as follows:


What is a Consortium, and Why Would You Join One?

by Dr. David Schowalter on Mar 16, 2018 11:14:20 AM

Merriam-Webster’s definition is, “an agreement, combination, or group (as of companies) formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.”  The word is Latin, derived from “con” (together) and “sors” (fate).  In commercial industries that rely on technology development, a consortium can be a way to share the cost of research and development among several companies that would benefit from the resulting technology. Consortia can also be commercial in nature.  One example would be the company, Airbus, which was originally a consortium of European aerospace manufacturers. It eventually evolved into a standalone company, Airbus, SAS. 

Previous |