How Many Pieces of Turbomachinery (Fans, Blowers, Compressors, Turbines, Pumps) Do You Have in Your House? Part 2

by Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC on May 14, 2021 11:00:00 AM

In my last blog I wrote about visiting a local middle school to give a talk on ‘What is Turbomachinery, and How Does It Work?’   The quiz at the end of the talk was for the students to list all the turbomachinery in their home. I had a few examples in mind to get the list started but was impressed with how long of a list we were able to generate after the students thought about it for a while. Since then the list has grown to include 40 items.   I will present those 40 below, but first let me repeat the assignment and the ground rules to see if you can think of more:


  1. List every piece of turbomachinery in your home.
  2. Inside and outside (in your yard is OK).
  3. Positive displacement equipment is OK to list.
  4. Don’t include turbomachinery in your cars or any vehicle or wheeled yard equipment (that’s another list…)

How Many Pieces of Turbomachinery do You Have in Your House?  (and a Pop Quiz)

by Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC on Apr 16, 2021 11:00:00 AM

On occasion I’m invited to a local middle school to give a talk to one of the science classes about ‘What Is Turbomachinery, and How Does It Work?’.   I teach in several of the turbomachinery design courses we give at Concepts NREC, and while I’m comfortable in those courses, presenting at this level was different. I originally found it a challenge to come up with a good presentation that would keep the students' attention, while still providing some science education as requested by the science teacher that invited me. Derivation of the Euler turbomachinery equation was probably out. The attention getters that seemed to work best to get the conversation going included bringing our turbocharger cut-away (definitely the biggest hit of anything I brought), along with other interesting impeller samples. From there getting into the purpose of various types of turbomachinery (compressor vs turbine vs pump) and a very high level discussion of energy transfer to/from a fluid, seemed to flow. Getting them thinking about some of the physical aspects of turbomachinery operation (Just how fast is 100,000 rpm?) also seemed to keep their attention.

What’s So Hard About Designing A Pump?

by Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC on Oct 6, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Here at Concepts NREC, we work on a wide range of turbomachinery components designed for fluids ranging from gases to liquids, including supercritical fluids like supercritical CO2 which have properties of both gases and liquids.   We do a lot of pump design, consulting work and education. In fact our annual course on Centrifugal and Axial Pump Design is consistently one of the most popular.   Many engineers in the gas compressor industries consider pump design plain vanilla, without the added complexities of Mach number effects, but there are reasons why our pump course is so popular – pump design can indeed be very difficult, with a number of complicating factors that are unique or especially critical to the pump industry.

Design Considerations for Turbo Expander Supersonic Turbines with Liquid to Gas-Liquid Flow Transition

by Oleg Dubitsky, Corporate Fellow, Director of Corporate Technology on Sep 28, 2020 10:50:05 AM

A small turbine (for ORC, air liquification processes) , operating with low volumetric flows at inlet and significant pressure ratio in a single stage configuration (to reduce costs) is often associated with flow of media with transition from liquid to gas-liquid state, with operating levels of Mach numbers above 1.8 at nozzle exit, that assumes convergent-divergent nozzle geometry, and may require partial admission.

Using an Economizer in Centrifugal Compressor Chiller Cycles

by Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC on Sep 18, 2020 11:00:00 AM

In the chiller industry, the evolution of centrifugal compressor chiller cycles has led to an interesting and powerful cycle and related compressor configuration which involves reinjection of refrigerant between stages. Such systems are thermodynamically identified broadly as cascade cycle options and have the common objective of improving the Coefficient of Performance (COP) of the standard refrigeration cycle.

Super Critical CO2 Compressor Design

by Mark R. Anderson, CTO of Concepts NREC on Aug 14, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Super critical carbon dioxide power (sCO2) cycles are attracting a lot of interest these days all over the world. Many initiatives using various levels of private and public funding are in progress in several countries right now. Preliminary testing on small scale units have shown that such systems are technically viable. The next round of larger scale testing under way now will determine if the concepts are financially viable as well.

Turbomachinery Design for Medical Devices Including Compressors, Fans, Blowers, and Pumps

by Daniel V. Hinch, Corporate VP Sales and Marketing, Concepts NREC on Aug 7, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Turbomachinery is used in a very wide variety of industries and applications.   While applications like aerospace ‘jet engines’ or powerplant steam turbines are the applications that come to mind for a lot of people, turbomachinery is integrated with or buried in a huge range of other equipment, and often transparent to the user.   I give a talk to local middle school sciences classes on what turbomachinery is, and give a quiz at the end of the talk where I ask them to list every piece of turbomachinery in their home. The students have surprised me with their understanding and reasoning ability, and I now have a list of 20 to 30 examples of turbomachinery running in their homes.

Flow Analysis of Multi-Staged Axial and Radial Turbomachinery

by Mark R. Anderson, CTO of Concepts NREC on Feb 6, 2020 12:58:56 PM

When designing a turbomachine, the best analytical approach is not necessarily the most accurate method possible, but the one that will generate the best candidate design in the time and budget available.  It makes little sense to do analytical work down to a 1/10% accuracy,  while ignoring candidate designs that might yield improvements 20 times that amount if they were considered in the first place.  Mastering the art of modern engineering requires an intuitive sense for the cost and accuracy of a given analytical method, and knowing when to move between them. 

This blog article is a follow up for the earlier blog “Coupled Optimization of Preliminary Design Geometry of Low Flow  Steam Turbine with Curtis Stage Layout and Rankine Cycle Parameters”, which considers more complicated case  of coupled optimization of regenerative Rankine cycle and 2 stage turbine geometry with change from partial to full admission flow.

Designing turbines for low flow Rankine Cycle for steam is challenging due to their small size, manufacturing restrictions, clearances and cost constraints. Such turbines operate at significant pressure ratios that require use of partial admission and are likely to operate in choked supersonic flow mode due to reduced stage count (controlled by cost).

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