SpinOffs

   

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.

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. 

Phase Change - Make Mine a Double!

by Mark R. Anderson on Feb 22, 2019 10:40:06 AM

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 familiar with H2O, of course, in its various forms: ice, water, and steam. This is partly because it’s a very common substance (on Earth anyway) but also because it’s one of the rare fluid types that readily changes phase at temperatures and pressures humans can typically dwell in. 

 

Back to Beer...

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 captures the way you feel about someone, while also reflecting who you are.  Well, Concepts NREC has created some turbomachinery-themed Valentine’s Day cards for engineers. These fall into the Art end of our Art-to-Part Solution.

 

Reverse Engineering - Going from Part to Art

by Sharon Wight on Dec 7, 2018 9:12:37 AM

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 changed to meet new government regulations. Or maybe there has been damage to the impeller and a complete mechanical analysis is required before a new one can be put into service. Eventually, everything, even well-designed turbomachinery, needs to be replaced or upgraded.

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.

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

Reverse-Brayton Cryocoolers

by Dimitri Deserranno on Apr 19, 2018 2:22:09 PM

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 120 K are commonly referred to as cryocoolers. Figure 1 illustrates the most common usage of cryocoolers in the fields of superconductivity, liquefaction, and infrared sensors. As you can see, cryocoolers cover a wide range in temperatures, cooling loads, and applications.

What Next for Wider Flow Range Centrifugal Compressors?

by Dr. Colin Osborne on Sep 21, 2017 2:04:51 PM

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 off-design operating conditions are reachable, but that companion efficiency goals at off-design points are favorable. For many applications, these off-design points are located at the extremities of the compressor map (near choke or stall). In addition, it is not enough just to reach these off-design points; additional flow margin is needed to ensure surge control equipment can protect compressors from system surge events, including design uncertainties, manufacturing and assembly tolerances, as well as unexpected operating conditions.

One of the most important design choices facing a chiller compressor designer is whether to utilize open or shrouded impellers. The impacts of this verdict are wide ranging, which arguably makes this most basic selection the most critical one.

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