The Optimization Challenge in the Development of Turbomachinery

Optimization (or parametric studies) of a twin spool bypass turbofan engine with mixed exhaust and a cooled turbine can be considered one of the most complex problem formulations. For engine selection, determining the thrust specific fuel consumption and specific thrust is necessary against variables such as design limitations (Inlet temp, etc.), design choices (fan pressure ration, etc.) and operating conditions (speed & altitude). The task involves cycle level studies following machine, module, stage and component level optimization. This calls for an integrated environment (IE) and it is desirable to have such an IE operating on a “single” platform.

Historically IE was developed for the design of axial turbines (mainly steam). Later, it was expanded for gas turbines (especially blade cooling calculations) and axial compressors via plug-in modules. The new challenge designers face today is developing mixed flow machinery. An effective system for modern turbomachinery design needs to do the following:


  1. Involve a set of design modules necessary for design procedures under one operating platform (an umbrella, per se) that performs initial sizing and optimization, 1D formulations, and build 3D geometric blade models that are available for final refinement by means of 3D aerodynamic CFD and stress analysis
  2. Have the ability to automate and optimize calculations using embedded models
  3. Improve flexibility in carrying out interactive design scenarios including rollback to previous version(s), version support, project integrity, ensure expandability, scalability, and maintainability
  4. Provide users with convenient mechanisms to input, edit, display and export data to other systems.


The architecture presented below gives the designer an opportunity to design axial, radial and mixed flow turbomachinery in an integrated environment on a single platform. The objective is to review a large number of variants and design parameters to realize optimum results. From a software engineering perspective, the majority of modules are required to be compatible with every type of turbomachinery, and specific modules must be able to run simultaneously (axial and radial turbine, axial and radial compressor). Consequently, a solution using common modules (project data access, graphical display of information, multi-choice calculation and optimization, import/export, etc.) and specific machine modules operating in tandem emerges. It embodies cycle level analysis and further down to blade (impeller) 3D profiling, stress analysis, and 3D Flow analysis.

Such an IE platform shortens the design development process significantly, thereby decreasing engineering costs and improving productivity

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