SpinOffs

   

The Tesla Turbine – A Solution Looking for the Right Problem

by Barbara Shea on May 17, 2019 8:20:44 AM

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 Tesla Turbine, he developed it while trying to make an engine that was light enough to power his ultimate goal of building a “flying machine”. Tesla-type turbines can also be referred to as multiple-disk, friction, shear-force, or boundary layer turbomachinery.

Getting Real – Advanced Real Gas Models

by Mark R. Anderson on May 3, 2019 10:28:59 AM

The Refprop program

The calculations in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Refprop program are generally considered the most accurate thermo-fluid models available.  The routines are widely used in many applications. 

 

The models

Several different models are embedded in the Refprop formulation. The most important are the  Benedict-Webb-Rubin equations of state for the pressure-temperature-density relationship. 

Going Through a Phase – Modeling Phase Change with Cubics

by Mark R. Anderson on Apr 26, 2019 9:32:08 AM

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: cavitation in a pump, condensing near the exit of a steam turbine, even the everyday phenomenon of the weather is basically a never-ending phase change process of water, and its interaction with air. 

Specific Speed Demystified

by Mark R. Anderson on Jan 11, 2019 9:40:00 AM

In my blog Flow Coefficient and Work Coefficient, I outlined the basic concept behind the flow and work coefficient. These nondimensional parameters are widely used to characterize axial and radial turbomachinery. Another widely used parameter for radial design is “specific speed”. For something with such a finite name, specific speed is perhaps the most mysterious and non-intuitive parameter in all of turbomachinery. In this blog, I'll lay the ground work for understanding specific speed.

Top Five Coolest Turbomachinery Applications

by Barbara Shea on Oct 4, 2018 4:21:33 PM

Most people have no idea what turbomachinery is, but some of the coolest things on (or off) this planet involve turbomachines.  Here are my picks for the top 5. 

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

Early Water Handling

by Mark R. Anderson on Aug 24, 2018 8:17:20 AM

I am fascinated by ancient cultures. After my recent visits to Roman ruins in Central Europe (see  A Turbomachinery Engineer's Summer Vacation), I began to wonder how far back mankind’s mastery of air and water handling actually went.  Turns out, quite far. So far, in fact, that it goes back to the very origins of civilization, and was perhaps, even a necessary precursor of civilization.

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.

What Is Pogo and Why Is It Bad For Rockets?

by Kerry Oliphant on Jun 28, 2018 5:21:25 PM

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 pogo stick. The vibrations severely impair the astronauts’ ability to pilot or respond to emergencies and can cause structural failure of the vehicle. NASA first became aware of the disastrous consequences from Pogo during the Gemini-Titan program. The issue continued to plague the agency through the Saturn V Moon launch missions.

Electric Pumps for Space Propulsion

by Kerry Oliphant on Apr 5, 2018 12:57:56 PM

The recent success of Rocket Lab, putting small satellites into orbit with its Electron rocket, is a significant milestone in the evolution of space flight.  The Electron rocket is powered by a set of 5,000 lbf thrust Rutherford engines that use battery-powered electric motor-driven pumps to supply the LOX and Kerosene to the thrust chamber.  Battery-powered propellant feed pumps are a leap in technology that will reduce the development time and lower the costs of space flight.

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