The Challenges & Cures of CFD Solution Failures

by Mark R. Anderson on Aug 3, 2018 10:04:04 AM

Computational fluid dynamic analysis (CFD) has become a standard part of the turbomachinery design process. Within Concepts NREC’s Agile Engineering Design System, FINE/Turbo, from our Partner NUMECA International, is the tool used to accomplish aerodynamic analysis of designs by applying standard methods of three-dimensional analysis. However, arriving at a converged CFD solution in any CFD program can sometimes be a challenge.

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:

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).

Leveraging Your Legacy Designs

by George C. Zitka, P.E. on Feb 9, 2018 8:56:57 AM

Engineers, by their very nature, like to design new things. To us, there is an undeniable appeal to creating something no one has ever seen before. However, there are compelling reasons to leverage your company’s past. It can be far more cost-effective and less risky to re-use past successful designs.

Why You Need CAE & CAM Software Specialized for Turbomachinery

by Dr. Peter Weitzman on Feb 2, 2018 10:58:43 AM

Concepts NREC just had its most successful year ever in software sales. Why? It really comes down to two things, the first is our team, we have some incredibly talented people developing our software and then training, supporting and selling it. The second, is our singular focus on turbomachinery. We are the only company in the world that offers turbomachinery specific CAM and CAE software. We do not try to be everything to everyone and produce machining toolpaths for any product or the ability to analyze anything. We focus on turbomachinery.

Robot Engineers?

by Barbara Shea on Dec 14, 2017 12:05:44 PM

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the profession that is creating all the robots was eventually replaced by them? It could happen. Engineering is all about applying laws, measurements, facts, and analysis to solve a problem. Dealing with these finite things is exactly what robots do WAY better than people.


Can you really get something for nearly nothing? In many cases, a properly-designed compressor casing treatment can extend compressor operating range without having to pay an appreciable efficiency penalty. Major automotive turbocharger OEMs have been leading this design effort for years and have successfully gained compressor operating range increase on both sides of the compressor (pressure versus flow) map. In most cases, the range increase has outweighed any efficiency penalty and best of all, these so-called “ported shroud” designs are naturally uncomplicated to implement, meaning that incremental cost is low.

The Value of Visualizing Velocity Vectors

by Mark R. Anderson on Nov 9, 2017 11:12:39 AM

Beyond being a fun tongue twister, visualizing the velocity vectors is probably the most useful and intuitive information available in turbomachinery design. Many fundamental parameters can be gleaned directly from these triangles. These include: flow coefficient, work coefficient, stage reaction, de Haller number, diffusion factor, and diffusion ratio, to name just a few. A great many design rules are predicated on these parameters in the initial design process, which is generally geared to target velocities as the starting point, rather than a predetermined geometry.


Getting to the Root Cause of a Catastrophic Impeller Failure

by George C. Zitka, P.E. on Oct 27, 2017 10:00:38 AM

Finding the root cause of a failure by narrowing down multiple overlaid symptoms can be a long and tedious process—and very often the true underlying problem is not what one might expect by a casual examination of the symptoms. That was the potential difficulty a customer of ours wanted to avoid when they investigated the catastrophic failure of a super-critical, feed-water pump used for a powerplant boiler.