How the Design of a Wind Turbine Differs from Other Types

by Kerry Oliphant on Mar 1, 2019 10:22:00 AM

Wind power generation is rapidly growing worldwide, and with that growth, demand for wind turbine design engineers is also growing.  However, an engineer who has experience designing turbines in most applications, will often have trouble translating their hard-won skills for general turbine design, into the wind turbine design. Why? 

Reverse Engineering - Going from Part to Art

by Sharon Wight on Dec 7, 2018 9:12:37 AM

Have you ever needed to know the exact geometry of a compressor that has been running for years in your process plant? Perhaps you need to analyze how it would perform if the process fluid had to be changed to meet new government regulations. Or maybe there has been damage to the impeller and a complete mechanical analysis is required before a new one can be put into service. Eventually, everything, even well-designed turbomachinery, needs to be replaced or upgraded.

Material Properties  - What Really Matters?

by Kevin Fairman on Nov 9, 2018 10:36:00 AM

As an engineer in the rotating machinery world, it is my job to design things that work for a very long time. To help ensure this, we have evolved the best analytical tools to calculate the stresses and deflection of the parts we have so carefully designed. But sometimes, we lose track of what matters. We know that material strength, weight, stiffness, toughness, thermal conductivity and thermal growth all matter. They are in a material database, so they must.

There is No Such Thing as a Design Point

by Dr. Peter Weitzman on Oct 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Most turbomachines need to operate across a range of fluid flow rates and speeds. This is obvious in transportation applications where gas turbine engines and turbochargers need to operate at all of the speeds, altitudes and temperatures that the vehicles they power will encounter. In industrial and refrigeration applications, turbomachines need to have a wide operating range to make them appealing to end users who want efficiency under many operating conditions.

Why are Turbine Blades Twisted?

by Dan Hinch on Oct 12, 2018 10:09:00 AM

It’s a straightforward question, but many turbomachinery engineers can’t easily explain the physics behind blade twist. Some shorter high-pressure turbine (HPT) blades appear nearly 2D in shape (little or no twist). Blade twist is more commonly seen in taller turbine blades, which should give an immediate clue as to origin of blade twist.

Designing Turbomachinery is like Solving a Rubik's Cube

by Barbara Shea on Sep 21, 2018 10:01:00 AM

I think we can all agree that designing turbomachinery is hard. There are just so many moving parts (pun intended) in the design process, and they are all interconnected.  When you change the blade shape, it changes the aerodynamics, and could impact manufacturability. Everything you change has a cascading effect across many different areas, because all of the areas are linked; just like a Rubik's® cube! Only, in turbomachinery design, you are not always trying to get all of the sides to be one color. Heck, even a 3-year old can do that

Investing in Designing Gas Turbines for Power Generation

by David Teal on Sep 14, 2018 11:46:08 AM

Gas turbines (or GTs) are important in the power generation sector due to their high efficiency, cleaner emissions and faster startup than old coal-powered plants. These power generators can range from small, local power supplies to huge units, large enough to power a city.  Even with the surge in renewable energy sources, there will always be a need for power when the sun goes down, on a windless day or when power peaks are expected. GTs fill this power gap. GTs are very power dense, meaning they can produce a lot of power in a relatively small footprint. This is very useful in a city, offshore, or where vast landmasses are unavailable. 

Frequently, there is a need to reconstruct 2D and 3D geometry from reported or measured surface data points. In most cases, the provided surface data include significant amounts of noise for various reasons, including quality of the scanned blade, deviations produced by the measurement system, curve digitization errors, data digital rounding and truncation, and errors in reporting the data.  This noise hampers quality surface reconstruction and masks the understanding of the design intent of the profiles.  It also affects the accurate representation of the geometry, manufacturing complexity, and aero performance which forms the basis on which a design engineer can execute any design improvements.

Yellow Ropes

by Jim Miller on Aug 17, 2018 9:36:45 AM

In the mid 1980’s, while serving in the Canadian Air Force, I had the good fortune, on one of my many adventures, to fly into Sondrestrom Air Base in Greenland. The Base is at the head of a beautiful fjord, so the scenery during the flight to Sondrestrom was magnificent. We arrived in the early summer on a beautiful clear day. I got out of the plane and wandered around the base while the aircraft was being serviced. One feature that caught my eye was all of the bright yellow ropes and stanchions that were strung from building to building. I couldn’t figure out what they were for, so I stopped one of the locals and asked, “Why the Yellow Ropes?”  Now, for those who are not students of the geography of Greenland, Sondrestrom is north of the Arctic Circle, and, apparently, the weather is not always as bright and clear as it was that day! As a matter of fact, one of the meteorological phenomena in the area was virtually instantaneous whiteouts, caused by snowstorms funneling up the fjord. Several people had been caught out between buildings and become disoriented during a blinding storm, a dangerous thing during the long darkness of winter. To eliminate this danger, they had put up the yellow ropes to safely guide people to their destination.

The Slip Factor Model for Axial, Radial, and Mixed-Flow Impellers

by Mark Anderson and Chanaka Mallikarachchi on Jul 20, 2018 10:00:25 AM

Ideally, the exit flow angle for an impeller should be the same as the exit blade metal angle. However, the exit flow angle deviates from the blade guidance at the impeller exit due to the finite number of blades. Correctly predicting flow deviation is a critical task in meanline and through-flow modeling because the exit flow angle is directly related to the work input and the pressure rise across the impeller.

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