In Thermodynamics: “What Goes Around-Comes Around” is a Good Thing

by Francis A. Di Bella, P.E. on Jun 28, 2019 10:07:50 AM

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 continuous transformation of energy from a heat energy source to produce mechanical or electrical power must contend with components that operate in a cycle. The key word here being “continuous”. The combustion of any carbon-hydrogen bond material (i.e., fossil fuels), or the liberation of heat energy from any number of materials when placed in a piston-cylinder, would not be very useful if the piston is not returned to its initial “precombustion” position. It is literally the difference between the one-time launching of an object from the cylinder or the continuous production of rotary shaft power; power that can be used to propel a vehicle forward or turn an electric generator. It is the cyclic operation of the fluid in the thermodynamic cycle that enables heat engines and refrigeration cycles to provide continuous power, or cooling, that is needed for the safety, security, comfort and all the other “hierarchy of needs” that was so well formulated by the renowned humanist psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow.

Designing Ruled Surfaces for Flank Milling

by Peter Klein on Mar 15, 2019 10:21:00 AM

As discussed in my previous blog post, Flank Milling, How Hard Can it Be?, turbomachinery blades are commonly designed as ruled surfaces, with the goal of making manufacturing easier and faster with flank-milling.  While some non-ruled surfaces can be acceptably flank-milled, the programming and machining process for flank-milling is generally more dependable with ruled data. However, the ruled data should be well conditioned, and several pitfalls should be avoided during the design and construction process.

The Wright Stuff for Turbomachinery

by Dr. David Schowalter on Dec 14, 2018 9:17:41 AM

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, NC. While I knew the basic story, I learned a lot more reading David McCullough’s book “The Wright Brothers,” which, I highly recommend. I could not help but make the connections to what we, in the turbomachinery industry, owe to these dedicated and industrious brothers. Their groundbreaking flight, pictured below, on December 17, 1903,  is often cited as the birth of modern aviation.

Radial Compressor Geometry Primer - Video Blog

by Mark R. Anderson on Nov 30, 2018 10:01:00 AM

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, including the inducer, splitters, backsweep, etc. He also looks at open and closed (shrouded) impellers and the pros and cons of each design.


Click on the image below to launch the full-size video.

20 Great Gifts for Engineers from $10 to $2 Million

by Barbara Shea on Nov 23, 2018 9:28:00 AM

Gifts for Engineers can usually be segmented into a few categories: Things you have to put together, science fiction, gaming, new technology, and witty phrases printed on stuff. A Google search of the term "Best Gifts for Engineers" will quickly validate this claim.

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.

Splitter Design for Radial Compressors  - Video Blog

by Mark R. Anderson on Oct 19, 2018 9:34:49 AM

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 video.

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

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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