Formula 1 Racing is Turbocharged

turbochargerinengineYes, the Formula 1 races have begun. The world is three races in with the fourth Grand Prix scheduled for April 20 in China.  As the world watches in awe at the versatility and speed (let’s face it, the races are all about the cars, right?), engineers marvel at the aerodynamics, energy recovery systems, turbochargers and internal combustion engines (because we love engineering).

Continue reading “Formula 1 Racing is Turbocharged”

Radial versus Diagonal Diffusion in Multi-Stage Pumps

radialanddiagonaldiffusion
Radial and Diagonal Diffusion

Although crossover design has only a secondary effect on pump efficiency, it too should use every available trick to achieve the best possible results.

This picture (left and below) shows short and long configurations of the two basic types of crossovers normally used on multi-stage pumps. Both have been tested by the West Coast pump companies and the results of these tests indicate that the radial diffusion type is approximately one point more efficient than the diagonal diffusion type. Here’s why: Continue reading “Radial versus Diagonal Diffusion in Multi-Stage Pumps”

Criteria for Selecting Pumps – Specific Speed

We had a great week last week with our Steam and Gas Turbine Design workshop and we thank all of our participants who joined us in Boston and Zug, Switzerland! But like any rotating turbomachinery company, we’re rotating right along into another topic, pumps.

As with any turbomachine, when you’re in the process of selection, you should take into account a few factors depending on the application.

The specific speed should be the first parameter to take into account when designing and installing a new pump. Continue reading “Criteria for Selecting Pumps – Specific Speed”

Retrofitting – Why Turbine Seals Are Important

Wreckage of 330 MW Turbine-generator from LP rotor burst
Wreckage of 330 MW Turbine-generator from LP rotor burst

Whether it is caused by a “poor” design, extreme operating conditions or even too much deterioration, turbine failures can occur. In order to help prevent these it is necessary to perform regular maintenance on all parts of the machine and control the conditions at which the turbine is operating at any moment in time as well as performing repairs and retrofits to keep the pieces in good shape.

One way to improve steam turbine efficiency is through better seals. However, when designed incorrectly they can create significant damages and performance losses in the turbine. Sealing steam turbine rotors presents several challenges. Any gap between the rotor and the packing lets the steam escape, dropping the pressure and wasting energy. If the packing ring is too tight, however, the rotor will rub, which creates localized hot spots. Continue reading “Retrofitting – Why Turbine Seals Are Important”

What’s An Ideal Heat Engine Cycle?

The Carnot cycle is the most efficient cycle possible for converting a given amount of thermal energy into work or, conversely, for using a given amount of work for refrigeration purposes.

Every thermodynamic system exists in a particular state. A thermodynamic cycle occurs when a system is taken through a series of different states, and finally returned to its initial state. In the process of going through this cycle, the system may perform work on its surroundings, thereby acting as a heat engine. Continue reading “What’s An Ideal Heat Engine Cycle?”

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