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Turbomachinery Design Software Empowers Designers

Key Takeaways

  • All turbomachines either extract energy from a constantly moving fluid stream or impart energy to the fluid.

  • The principal components of turbomachinery are the rotating element, the stationary element, and the input or output shaft.   

  • The use of turbomachinery design software gives designers complete control over their turbomachinery design.

 Air compressor

The compressor stage partially converts mechanical energy into potential energy or a head

Turbomachinery employs the concepts of thermodynamics and aerodynamics for energy transfer from or to a fluid. Aerodynamic design is very challenging in turbomachinery, as it deals with complicated flow regimes and interactions between different disciplines. In the past, turbomachinery designers relied on trial-and-error methods based on the experience, knowledge, and instincts of the designer. However, such designs failed to meet global optimization standards. Moreover, the long design cycles in the trial-and-error method elongated the time-to-market.

To improve optimization and shorten the time-to-market, turbomachinery design software is now used. In this article, we will explore the turbomachinery design process and learn how turbomachinery design software supports designers in this process.

But First, What Are Turbomachines?

If a device transfers energy between a flowing fluid and a rotating element through dynamic action, then it is considered a turbomachine. The dynamic action-thermodynamic and or aerodynamic leads to a change in momentum and pressure of the fluid. Typically, turbomachines involve a steady-flow process for mechanical energy transfer either internally or externally.

Examples of Turbomachines and Applications

The machines that produce power are a common example of turbomachines. The turbine for generating shaft power is a power-generating type of turbomachine. The machines that produce pressure or head are the next category of turbomachines. The compressors and centrifugal pumps belong to the turbomachinery producing pressure or head. Fans and blowers are turbomachines used for ventilation as well as heat exchange. All turbomachines either extract energy from the constantly moving fluid stream or impart energy to the fluid.

Turbomachines are employed in a variety of sectors including commercial, aerospace, and military applications, to name a few. Depending on the application, a turbomachine can be called a power generation machine, thrust generation engine, propulsion engine, or turbocharger.

Let’s look at the energy transfer stages of turbomachinery.

Energy Transfer Stages of Turbomachinery

The ultimate objective of turbomachinery is to transfer energy. Turbomachinery does this in stages. The energy is transferred to or from the flowing fluid as it passes through different energy transfer stages. The principal components of turbomachinery are the rotating element, the stationary element, and the input or output shaft – these all influence the energy transfer stages.

Consider the turbomachinery system. The turbomachinery stage of the system consists of fixed guide vanes (called stator blades) and rotors (rotating blades). 

Compressor Stage

Generally, all turbomachinery systems consist of the compressor stage or turbine stage. The total pressure can be built up in the system by means of the compressor stage. The compressor stage partially converts the mechanical energy into potential energy or a head.  The various components in the compressor aid the pressure build-up. 

Turbine Stage

The turbine stage converts the energy of the fluid medium into mechanical energy. The cross-section of the turbine and mean diameter are significant in keeping the axial velocity and flow path as required in the given turbomachinery application.

The design of each component present in the turbomachinery is important, as all the minute details of the parts add to the pressure or momentum change required under the given turbomachinery application. The components and sub-components in the turbomachinery, as well as the flow angles (both absolute and relative angles), influence the behavior of the compressor, turbine, and any other turbomachine.

Turbomachinery Design Software 

Turbomachinery design is an art that heavily depends on the designer’s knowledge, experience, and instincts to ensure the design meets global standards. The use of turbomachinery design software empowers designers and gives them complete control over the turbomachinery design. Turbomachinery design software offers a platform for one or three-dimensional parametric conceptual designs of turbomachinery stages or components such as stators, impellers, volutes, etc. Design software also allows access to various integrated analysis tools to validate the performance, durability, and reliability of the design. The optimization of the design is possible using turbomachinery design software, permitting the designer to expand the design arena to incorporate all the requirements of the turbomachinery application.

Meeting Global Standards

Turbomachinery design software assists designers with design, simulation, and optimization tools. It offers to set a new standard of turbomachinery design – matching the globally accepted design level within a short span of time. Cadence Fidelity software offers designers fast turbomachinery design cycles, with tools that aid miniaturization, efficient designs, reliability, and optimization. 

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About the Author

With an industry-leading meshing approach and a robust host of solver and post-processing capabilities, Cadence Fidelity provides a comprehensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) workflow for applications including propulsion, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and combustion.

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