SpinOffs

A blog on what's new, notable, and next in turbomachinery

Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.

Entropy Happens… Deal with It!

Entropy Happens… Deal with It!

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Jul 19, 2019

If there’s one thing good about sitting in snarled traffic in Boston, it’s that you get to see some very original bumper stickers. The most recent bumper sticker I saw was probably the strangest one,...

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In Thermodynamics: “What Goes Around-Comes Around” is a Good Thing

In Thermodynamics: “What Goes Around-Comes Around” is a Good Thing

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Jun 28, 2019

When discussing the efficiency of transforming one form of energy to another, circularity is the way to go. Anyone who has spent even a little time studying engineering thermodynamics knows that the...

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What do Undergraduates, a Chimney, Renewable Energy and an Open Pit Mine Have in Common?

What do Undergraduates, a Chimney, Renewable Energy and an Open Pit Mine Have in Common?

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Apr 19, 2019

It sounds like an opening to a joke, but I wanted to share some creative thinking sparked during a field trip to a local gas turbine cogeneration plant with some undergraduate students I teach. The...

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Engineering Resolutions for 2019

Engineering Resolutions for 2019

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Dec 28, 2018

I am an engineer and teacher, so as the year draws to a close, I like to look back on memorable events where an engineering activity went, or almost went, awry. Luckily all were caught in the nick of...

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Gas Turbine Automobiles - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Gas Turbine Automobiles - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Nov 2, 2018

Credit for the first gas turbine engine used in flight is given to Dr. Frank Whittle.  Dr. Whittle maintained a steadfast commitment to developing gas turbine-powered aircraft in the midst of World...

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Avoiding the

Avoiding the "Bad Day" in Aerospace

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Jul 6, 2018

The AS9100 Certification identifies companies who have qualified to manufacture products for the Aerospace Industry.  Manufacturers who meet the extensive requirements of the AS9100 Certification...

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The (Contemporary) Art of Engineering

The (Contemporary) Art of Engineering

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Mar 2, 2018

Boston, MA is known as a walkable city. Boston’s downtown area is very small, relative to those in other cities. However, the walkable size provides you with a special opportunity to explore the many...

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A New Application for Air Brake Dynamometers?

A New Application for Air Brake Dynamometers?

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Jan 12, 2018

My gym has been crowded with a lot of new people these past couple of weeks. It happens every year in January as people try to stick to their New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. I don’t mind the...

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Ground Source Heat Energy Storage for Power Generation

Ground Source Heat Energy Storage for Power Generation

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Nov 15, 2017

Have you ever been to the beach on a very hot day? Then I am sure you noticed that the sand is very, very hot, uncomfortably so. Congratulations, you have had first-hand experience with ground source...

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We Are All Being Robbed!  Some Thoughts on Energy Heat Recovery

We Are All Being Robbed!  Some Thoughts on Energy Heat Recovery

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Sep 28, 2017

There are not many people who would argue that if you only received 30% of a commodity that you need to purchase every day to enable you to have your share of “…life, liberty and the pursuit of...

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A Cross-Over SCO2 System Application

A Cross-Over SCO2 System Application

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
May 18, 2017

The 2015 Paris Climate Talks (COP21) were successful in achieving consensus from 196 countries that climate change must be given significant attention. There was a particular focus on the release of...

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Improving the Efficiency of Supercritical CO2 Power Systems

Improving the Efficiency of Supercritical CO2 Power Systems

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Apr 27, 2017

The contemporary gas turbine engine, developed in the 1940’s by Sir Frank Whittle (pictured), is still considered to be among the most efficient, external combustion engines. Today, there is a...

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Sysyphean Task of Energy Storage

Sysyphean Task of Energy Storage

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Oct 7, 2016

Sisyphus in Greek Mythology was condemned to eternally roll a large rock up a hill only to watch it crash to the bottom.  The myth lives on today with the term Sisyphean that refers to tasks that are...

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