SpinOffs

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

Posts about Engineering

Rocket Turbopump Development: Epumps, A Potential Propulsion Game Changer

Rocket Turbopump Development: Epumps, A Potential Propulsion Game Changer

By Dr. Dave Japikse, CEO/Chairman & Founder, Concepts NREC
Feb 11, 2022

Dave Japikse, the CEO/Chairman & Founder of Concepts NREC, speaks to e-pumps as a potential propulsion game changer, as well as ongoing rocket turbopump development and design considerations.

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Which Type of Turbomachinery is Aerodynamically Easier to Design, a Compressor or Turbine?

Which Type of Turbomachinery is Aerodynamically Easier to Design, a Compressor or Turbine?

By Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC
Oct 29, 2021

In the world of aerodynamics, there are several branches and sub-branches of different types of aerodynamics. In the big picture the field of aerodynamics can be broken down into external and...

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Heavy Interest in the Lightest Element: Hydrogen

Heavy Interest in the Lightest Element: Hydrogen

By Mark R. Anderson, CTO of Concepts NREC
Oct 1, 2021

It’s always interesting to look at the topics of my favorite engineering conferences and see what’s in vogue in a given year. What jumped out at me this year at the ASME TurboExpo was the hot topic...

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Meet Claudio Raia

Meet Claudio Raia

By Kate Guerrina, Marketing Manager
Sep 17, 2021

Dave Schowalter, Director of Global Software Sales, introduces you to Claudio Raia, our newest team member and the Managing Director of Concepts NREC Europe. Welcome Claudio!

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What’s the Difference Between ‘Preliminary’ And ‘Detailed’ Design, And How Do These Design Phases Fit Into Your Turbomachinery Design Project?

What’s the Difference Between ‘Preliminary’ And ‘Detailed’ Design, And How Do These Design Phases Fit Into Your Turbomachinery Design Project?

By Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC
Apr 2, 2021

Whether it’s a compressor, turbine, or an entire rocket turbopump design project we are tackling at Concepts NREC, we typically divide the design project into three phases: (1) scoping or feasibility...

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Why are Scoping Studies Necessary for Your Turbomachinery Project?

Why are Scoping Studies Necessary for Your Turbomachinery Project?

By Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC
Feb 19, 2021

At Concepts NREC we do a lot of projects from ‘clean sheet’ all the way through manufacturing of prototype hardware.   In fact, these types of projects are among the favorite of the engineering staff...

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Putting Entropy to Work

Putting Entropy to Work

By Francis A. Di Bella, P.E.
Aug 2, 2019

The previous blog, Entropy Happens… Deal with It! ended with the statement, “That’s how Concepts NREC deals with the constraints of the Second Law of Thermodynamics when designing high-efficiency...

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Supercritical CO2, CFD, Alligators & Gladiators – Thoughts & Trends from Turbo Expo 2019

Supercritical CO2, CFD, Alligators & Gladiators – Thoughts & Trends from Turbo Expo 2019

By Mark R. Anderson
Jul 5, 2019

I recently got back from my favorite annual conference: ASME’s Turbo Expo. This year, someone thought it would be a good idea to hold it in Phoenix, Arizona…in the summertime.  While that’s not the...

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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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Top Summer Vacations for Turbomachinery Engineers

Top Summer Vacations for Turbomachinery Engineers

By Barbara Shea
Jun 14, 2019

Summer is almost here, at least in my hemisphere, so here are some of the best places around the world people in the turbomachinery industry might find interesting! Know of another? Share your...

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What’s the Difference Between a Fan, a Blower, and a Compressor?

What’s the Difference Between a Fan, a Blower, and a Compressor?

By Dan Hinch
Jun 6, 2019

Turbomachinery equipment is generally segmented based on whether it extracts energy (e.g., turbines) or adds energy (e.g., pumps and compressors). The addition of energy is usually used to compress...

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How to Design a Wind Turbine Rotor

How to Design a Wind Turbine Rotor

By Kerry Oliphant
May 31, 2019

In my previous blog post, “How the Design of a Wind Turbine Differs from other Types of Turbines”, I showed that the very small pressure drop across the rotor makes wind turbine design different from...

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The Tesla Turbine – A Solution Looking for the Right Problem

The Tesla Turbine – A Solution Looking for the Right Problem

By Barbara Shea
May 17, 2019

The great engineer, Dr. Nikola Tesla, is best known for his work with alternating current (AC) electricity, but, did you know that he patented a bladeless type of turbomachinery in 1913? Called the...

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Going Through a Phase – Modeling Phase Change with Cubics

Going Through a Phase – Modeling Phase Change with Cubics

By Mark R. Anderson
Apr 26, 2019

When fluids undergo a phase change (see Phase Change - Make Mine a Double), it typically has a very significant effect of the flow behavior and energy level of the system.  Some examples of this are:...

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Simple Stall - Video Blog - Part 2

Simple Stall - Video Blog - Part 2

By Mark R. Anderson
Apr 12, 2019

Our CTO, Mark Anderson, takes a fundamental look at simple stall and its impact on turbochargers stability and range. This is the second video in this 2-part series. Be sure to watch Part 1 first!

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Performance Corrections for Compressor Maps

Performance Corrections for Compressor Maps

By Mark R. Anderson
Apr 9, 2019

Turbomachinery performance is almost always analyzed and tested with a fixed inflow condition. In other words, the assumption is that the inflow fluid temperature and pressure is defined and...

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Simple Stall - Video Blog - Part 1

Simple Stall - Video Blog - Part 1

By Mark R. Anderson
Apr 5, 2019

Our CTO, Mark Anderson, takes a fundamental look at simple stall and its impact on turbochargers stability and range. This is the first video in this 2-part series. 

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Water & Turbomachinery - Two Great Things, That Go Great Together

Water & Turbomachinery - Two Great Things, That Go Great Together

By Andrew Provo
Mar 22, 2019

I work with water a lot here at Concepts NREC. Water is frequently the fluid that flows through various types of rotating equipment we design to either release or store energy. Mankind’s fascination...

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What's Better than Perfect? Semi-Perfect Gas Models

What's Better than Perfect? Semi-Perfect Gas Models

By Mark R. Anderson
Mar 8, 2019

In a previous blog, Fluid Phenomena Primer: Energy Versus Temperature, Specific Heat, I explained the behavior for gas phase fluids and how the temperature is affected at high energy levels.  In...

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How the Design of a Wind Turbine Differs from Other Types

How the Design of a Wind Turbine Differs from Other Types

By Kerry Oliphant
Mar 1, 2019

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...

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Phase Change - Make Mine a Double!

Phase Change - Make Mine a Double!

By Mark R. Anderson
Feb 22, 2019

As I’ve always said, there’s as much thermodynamics in a glass of beer, as there is in a power plant. Don't believe me? Read on. Phase change is common phenomena that we see all the time.  We’re most...

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When Perfect is Good Enough - Perfect Gas Models

When Perfect is Good Enough - Perfect Gas Models

By Mark R. Anderson
Feb 15, 2019

What is a perfect gas? A perfect gas is one that has a linear variation in energy with respect to temperature and a linear variation in pressure with respect to temperature at constant volume. The...

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7 Turbomachinery Themed Valentine’s Day Cards – Which is Your Favorite?

7 Turbomachinery Themed Valentine’s Day Cards – Which is Your Favorite?

By Barbara Shea
Feb 8, 2019

Valentine’s Day is February 14, and while some cynics refer to it as a “Hallmark holiday”, most people commemorate the day in some way. One of the biggest challenges is finding a card that perfectly...

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Fluid Phenomena Primer: Energy Versus Temperature, Specific Heat

Fluid Phenomena Primer: Energy Versus Temperature, Specific Heat

By Mark R. Anderson
Feb 8, 2019

As one might expect, the temperature of a substance typically increases as energy is added to it. This is the case with most substances in all phases. The exception is when a substance crosses to a...

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Flank Milling - How Hard Can It Be?

Flank Milling - How Hard Can It Be?

By Peter Klein
Jan 4, 2019

 When designing compressors, engineers often use ruled-surface blades with the goal of making a shape that’s easily manufactured on a 5-axis machine.  Theses blades can be quickly machined in one...

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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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The Wright Stuff for Turbomachinery

The Wright Stuff for Turbomachinery

By Dr. David Schowalter
Dec 14, 2018

As an engineer, you probably have at least some familiarity with the story of how two bicycle mechanics, named Orville and Wilbur Wright, invented controlled-powered flying machines at Kitty Hawk,...

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Reverse Engineering - Going from Part to Art

Reverse Engineering - Going from Part to Art

By Sharon Wight
Dec 7, 2018

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...

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Radial Compressor Geometry Primer - Video Blog

Radial Compressor Geometry Primer - Video Blog

By Mark R. Anderson
Nov 30, 2018

Below is a 4 minute video blog from Mark Anderson, Concepts NREC's Chief Technology Officer, on the geometry of radial compressors. In it, he details the various parts of the compressor wheel,...

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Site Selection for Low- and No-Head Hydroelectric Pilot Plants

Site Selection for Low- and No-Head Hydroelectric Pilot Plants

By Andrew Provo
Nov 15, 2018

According to the 2014 Oak Ridge National Laboratory study on untapped hydro-power potential, there is nearly 65 GW of untapped power in America’s waterways. The vast majority of this power remains...

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Material Properties  - What Really Matters?

Material Properties  - What Really Matters?

By Kevin Fairman
Nov 9, 2018

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...

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Splitter Design for Radial Compressors  - Video Blog

Splitter Design for Radial Compressors  - Video Blog

By Mark R. Anderson
Oct 19, 2018

Below is 3 minute video blog from Mark Anderson, Concepts NREC's Chief Technology Officer, on splitter design for radial compressors. Click on the small thumbnail image below to launch the full-size...

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Why are Turbine Blades Twisted?

Why are Turbine Blades Twisted?

By Dan Hinch
Oct 12, 2018

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...

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Designing Turbomachinery is like Solving a Rubik's Cube

Designing Turbomachinery is like Solving a Rubik's Cube

By Barbara Shea
Sep 21, 2018

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...

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Investing in Designing Gas Turbines for Power Generation

Investing in Designing Gas Turbines for Power Generation

By David Teal
Sep 14, 2018

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...

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Trends in Composite Materials for Turbomachinery Applications

Trends in Composite Materials for Turbomachinery Applications

By Arsalan Adil
Sep 7, 2018

The advancement of composite material technologies over the past few decades has contributed to their widespread use in a vast array of aerospace applications. Most applications target weight...

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Using Curvature Smoothing for Quality Reconstruction of Blade Sections Using Surface Data Tables

Using Curvature Smoothing for Quality Reconstruction of Blade Sections Using Surface Data Tables

By Oleg Dubitsky
Aug 31, 2018

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...

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Yellow Ropes

Yellow Ropes

By Jim Miller
Aug 17, 2018

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...

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Engine-Driven Compressor for Maintaining Aircraft Cabin Pressure

Engine-Driven Compressor for Maintaining Aircraft Cabin Pressure

By Dan Hinch
Jul 11, 2018

Commercial and military aircraft require that preset levels be maintained for aircraft cabin pressure, airflow, temperature, and humidity — regardless of flight altitude and aircraft speed. To...

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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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What Is Pogo and Why Is It Bad For Rockets?

What Is Pogo and Why Is It Bad For Rockets?

By Kerry Oliphant
Jun 28, 2018

Space launch vehicles can exhibit self-excited longitudinal oscillations, also known as “Pogo” — so named because the phenomenon vibrates the rocket up and down in a manner similar to bouncing on a...

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An Initial Look at Conical Diffusers in Turbomachinery Design

An Initial Look at Conical Diffusers in Turbomachinery Design

By Jamin Bitter
Jun 22, 2018

Perhaps the most common type of diffuser in turbomachinery is the conical diffuser. This diffuser is found at the exit of every volute as the geometry transitions to the exit flange. This conical...

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A Small Taste of Two Papers from Turbo Expo 2018 in Norway

A Small Taste of Two Papers from Turbo Expo 2018 in Norway

By Barbara Shea
Jun 14, 2018

The 2018 ASME Turbo Expo in Lillestrøm, Norway was, as always,  a smorgasbord of papers and presentations on the latest and greatest ideas in turbomachinery and gas turbines. Two of our favorites...

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Online Versus In Person Training: The Pros and Cons

Online Versus In Person Training: The Pros and Cons

By Barbara Shea
Jun 8, 2018

Ongoing education is a reality for most professionals. The training requirements are usually set by employers or professional associations with the goal of keeping employees and members up to date...

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Lessons Learnt

Lessons Learnt

By Kevin Fairman
May 31, 2018

Yes, you read that right. Learnt. It’s in the dictionary; look it up if you don’t believe me. I believe it’s one of those words that came over on the Mayflower and found its way into Webster’s early...

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Film Cooling In Turbines

Film Cooling In Turbines

By Song Xue
May 24, 2018

Turbine inlet temperature is one of the most critical parameters in the Brayton cycle of gas turbine engines. One way to increase the cycle efficiency is to increase the turbine inlet temperature, as...

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Is Laboratory Testing Still Needed for Turbomachinery Development?

Is Laboratory Testing Still Needed for Turbomachinery Development?

By Andrew Provo
May 17, 2018

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...

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Preliminary Sizing of Supersonic Turbines with Partial Admission for Best Performance Using AXIAL™

Preliminary Sizing of Supersonic Turbines with Partial Admission for Best Performance Using AXIAL™

By Oleg Dubitsky
Apr 27, 2018

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....

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Reverse-Brayton Cryocoolers

Reverse-Brayton Cryocoolers

By Dimitri Deserranno
Apr 19, 2018

Perhaps it is because Spring is so slow to come this year, but I have been thinking a lot about refrigeration and the different types of systems there are. Refrigeration systems that operate below...

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Optimizing the Radial-to-Axial Duct Geometry for a Gas Turbine Radial Compressor Impeller

Optimizing the Radial-to-Axial Duct Geometry for a Gas Turbine Radial Compressor Impeller

By Oleg Dubitsky
Apr 13, 2018

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...

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Leveraging Your Legacy Designs

Leveraging Your Legacy Designs

By George C. Zitka, P.E.
Feb 9, 2018

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...

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Compressor Design: Influence of the Impeller Exit Blade Angle

Compressor Design: Influence of the Impeller Exit Blade Angle

By Dimitri Deserranno
Jan 19, 2018

During the compressor design process, one of the key optimization steps is to adjust the impeller exit blade angle with the goal of achieving the desired pressure ratio, efficiency and range.   When...

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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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The 5 Why's - A Tool for Effective Problem Solving

The 5 Why's - A Tool for Effective Problem Solving

By Jim Miller
Dec 21, 2017

  A challenge in the engineering profession is that we, too often, look at complex problems as requiring complex solutions. As an example, a customer recently asked Concepts NREC to perform a very...

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Robot Engineers?

Robot Engineers?

By Barbara Shea
Dec 14, 2017

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...

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Vibration and Resonance Issues in Turbomachines

Vibration and Resonance Issues in Turbomachines

By Arsalan Adil
Nov 29, 2017

Structural vibration is a natural phenomenon exhibited by all structures, by virtue of simply possessing mass and having an associated structural stiffness. Thus, any structure or assembly of...

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Getting Carried Away (Literally) with a Hobby - How I Ended up with a Helicopter

Getting Carried Away (Literally) with a Hobby - How I Ended up with a Helicopter

By Adam Weaver
Nov 22, 2017

How did I get from not knowing (or caring) anything about home-built aircraft to owning a gas turbine powered helicopter? As you might imagine, it’s complicated.

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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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When the Dream Turns Into a Nightmare: Resilient Power for Island Economies

When the Dream Turns Into a Nightmare: Resilient Power for Island Economies

By Barbara Shea
Nov 2, 2017

Who has not dreamed of living on an island? You’re getting away from it all, walking alone along a secluded beach, as the ocean gently laps at shore…ahhhh. Excuse me – I have to go search for...

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Off-Highway Turbochargers

Off-Highway Turbochargers

By Dr. Nicholas C. Baines
Oct 20, 2017

The turbocharger is a very mature device that has been refined over the past 100+ years to achieve the right compromise between competing requirements. Efficiency, boost pressure, and range are all...

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Full Disclosure on Non-Disclosure Agreements

Full Disclosure on Non-Disclosure Agreements

By Bradley C. Leiser
Oct 13, 2017

If you are working in a technical field as an engineer, and odds are you do, if you are reading this blog, then you have almost certainly come across a few Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). You have...

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What Next for Wider Flow Range Centrifugal Compressors?

What Next for Wider Flow Range Centrifugal Compressors?

By Dr. Colin Osborne
Sep 21, 2017

Flow range is an essential consideration in the design of any centrifugal compressor system, regardless of the application. Adequate flow range is necessary, not only to assure that various...

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Getting your Bearings – Challenges of Selecting the Right Bearing for the Job

Getting your Bearings – Challenges of Selecting the Right Bearing for the Job

By Kevin Fairman
Sep 15, 2017

Bearing selection is an interesting concept. Can you really select the bearing – or does the bearing select you? It seems that we have come to understand where to use bearings by where they have been...

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Measuring Aerodynamic Blockage

Measuring Aerodynamic Blockage

By Mark R. Anderson
Aug 23, 2017

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...

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When and Why You Should Hire an Expert

When and Why You Should Hire an Expert

By Barbara Shea
Aug 17, 2017

Every company in the turbomachinery industry needs robust technical expertise to survive in this very mature business. Whether you make a rotating component or use one in a product, your in-house...

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Turbomachinery Textbooks Focused on Engineering Design

Turbomachinery Textbooks Focused on Engineering Design

By Barbara Shea
Jul 14, 2017

The vast majority of turbomachinery textbooks emphasize analysis when the heart of engineering is based in design. Concepts NREC is uniquely qualified to share the nature and process of engineering...

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