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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” were 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:

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. 

Measuring Aerodynamic Blockage

by Mark R. Anderson on Aug 23, 2017 3:54:27 PM

Aerodynamic blockage is a comparatively simple parameter to measure and reveals important aerodynamic performance data. Aerodynamic blockage is directly related to the displacement thickness concept of boundary layers. It represents the fraction by which a flow passage is effectively “blocked” by the presence of the low momentum boundary layer regions. If an analyst knows the aerodynamic blockage, the boundary layer displacement thickness can be directly computed, and vice versa, if the boundary layers are uniform across the passage cross section.

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