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Practical Application of Multidisciplinary Optimization

by Dr. Peter Weitzman & Steve Kohr on Jul 26, 2019 8:59:39 AM

If you design turbomachinery for a living, you are already doing multidisciplinary optimization (MDO), regardless of whether you have a special software tool with MDO built in or not. Turbomachines, by their nature, require advanced fluid dynamics as well as very high mechanical complexity.  Whenever you make a trade-off between performance and durability or performance and weight/inertia, you are doing an MDO study. Adding MDO software to your traditional design approaches can give you additional insight into the trade-offs, and save you time by avoiding the need for manual iteration.

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. Additional requirements include low cost, reduced weight, and reduced axial length (for robust rotor dynamics).

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 profiles at the duct exit, delivered to the inlet of the first impeller, also affects the performance of the compressor. 

Optimizing the Screw Inducer for a Pump

by Oleg Dubitsky on Feb 16, 2018 11:05:47 AM

High-efficiency, low-cavitation pumps often require a screw type inducer to treat the inflow to the main radial/mixed flow pump blades. Efficiency and head rise, split between inducer and main pump, are questions explored during the design process. Another important design consideration is the tolerance to cavitation. Finding the best solution, when there is often a trade-off between two or more operational conditions, is difficult. We have found that multi-objective optimization, for single or multiple operating points, is the best tool to use.

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