Preliminary Design Considerations of Zero Reaction Stages in Turbines

by Oleg Dubitsky, Distinguished Corporate Fellow, Director of Corporate Technology on Aug 27, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Low reaction stages are often used as control stages of steam turbines, ORC turbines,  drive and rocket turbopump turbines. Some of the benefits of low reaction stages vs higher reaction stages are: 


  • Smaller radial size (and weight) for the given power and rotation speed 
  • Compatibility with use of partial admission, which is used to accommodate low volumetric flow, with the needed low pressure gradients in the rotor blades to reduce leakage penalties 
  • Both above factors allow increasing of nozzle and rotor blade heights 
  • Smaller radial size provides lower disk rim speeds and disk stresses 
  • Low reaction generally means lower axial thrust of the rotor 
  • Velocity stage configurations are possible for low reaction designs (Curtis stage for example, Fig.1). Velocity stages allow further reduction in radial size and increasing blade heights 

Abstracts From Papers Presented at Turbo Expo 2019

by Barbara Shea on Jun 21, 2019 9:22:14 AM

Wow, Concepts NREC had a lot going on at this year's ASME Turbo Expo 2019 in Phoenix, AZ! We held our North American CAE User Group Meeting, spoke to over 200 people at our booth, chaired several sessions and presented two papers. In case you were not able to go, here are the abstracts from the two papers:

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.

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