A blog on what's new, notable, and next in turbomachinery

Turbomachinery Textbooks Focused on Engineering Design

By Barbara Shea
Jul 14, 2017

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The vast majority of turbomachinery textbooks emphasize analysis when the heart of engineering is based in design. Concepts NREC is uniquely qualified to share the nature and process of engineering design. When Concepts NREC decided to write and publish a range of turbomachinery textbooks, the objective was to emphasize engineering design rather than analysis.  

Design is the primary purpose of engineering and the whole reason for its existence. Although based in technology, design is a genuinely creative process, which is devoted to producing something functional that achieves its mission. It creates something new and improved that did not exist before.

Design is clearly at the heart of engineering, but it is also difficult to convey the “rules” or methods of design to a reader, in the same way that describing any other creative processes in text alone is difficult. Few architects, novelists, or composers would claim to have learned the art of their craft from textbooks!

Analysis is quite a different process. Given a problem, the routine task is to analyze it and achieve a solution. Often in engineering there is a unique solution, and anyone who has taken a conventional engineering course, or read a standard textbook, will be familiar with being set and solving problems. Unquestionably, that process forms the foundations of an understanding of the subject that has to underpin any engineering design initiative. No turbomachinery designer could function properly without understanding the fundamental fluid mechanics and thermodynamics of fluid motion.

And yet intellectually, fundamentals are not the essence of engineering design. Design is open-ended. Often there is a large and possibly infinite number of ways to meet a specification. The skills of the designer are first, to choose the best of the competing solutions, and second, to do so in a cost-effective manner. Today great strides are being made in automatic optimization methods, and  Concepts NREC continues to be at the forefront of that work. But this has not replaced all the skills of an experienced designer.

Concepts NREC’s goal in providing a range of textbooks is to allow readers to understand the nature and process of engineering design as it applies to turbomachines.  As an engineering design company, this is what Concepts NREC does on a daily basis, and therefore, the company has over 60 years of experience to draw upon. Concepts NREC also has an extensive database of information on turbomachinery performance.  We have done extensive and detailed testing on a wide range of turbomachines over many years, and that data has both influenced the company’s design methods in many different ways and informed readers through company publications.

Concepts NREC’s range of textbooks starts with Introduction to Turbomachinery, which is targeted at engineers starting in the turbomachinery industry. Specialist textbooks that include Centrifugal Compressor Design and Performance, Centrifugal Pump Design and Performance, and Axial and Radial Turbines build on the introductory volume to retain and even strengthen the design focus of that book. The range is complemented by texts that explore in detail certain specific aspects of turbomachinery technology, such as surge and stability of compressors and pumps, and diffuser performance, or turbomachinery methodology, including experimental and test techniques. There are also texts for specific applications, including turbocharging.

For a complete listing of textbooks available for purchase, visit our textbook page.

Tags: Training

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