Unsteady methods are becoming increasingly important in turbomachinery design and optimization because they model transient flows and performance more realistically. Unfortunately, using time-accurate CFD simulations to understand these unsteady flows in compressor stages can be computationally expensive. In recent years, ANSYS has been working on methods for modelling the transient flows in turbomachinery stages that require as few as single-blade passages per row but with equivalent accuracy. As a result, engineers can drastically reduce computational time and memory resources by up to 10X. Continue reading
It seems not all that long ago that I first attended the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) conference in Toronto. It was just a short drive from my office in Waterloo, Ontario. This year I took a much longer trip to Seoul South Korea to attend the ASME Turbo Expo. As I am already engaged in preparations for the 2017 edition that will be held in Charlotte, NC, I am reminded that much has changed in how rotating machinery is designed and operated. No doubt more evolution will be evident in the 2017 conference. One difference is that the conference will be held in conjunction with the ASME Power and Energy conference. I think that this makes a lot of sense, given the continued important role of turbomachinery in power and energy production and transmission. Continue reading
Breakthrough energy innovation comes in many forms, as we at AirLoom Energy are proving with our revolutionary design of an alternative to the wind turbine. AirLoom Energy is a startup wind energy company housed at the incubator program (WTBC) at the University of Wyoming, home of the Cowboys football team and big, BIG wind. We were recently awarded an SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation to support the prototype development of our novel AirLoom wind power generation technology, a milestone that can be credited in large part to support received through the ANSYS Startup program. Continue reading
For the past few weeks, the ANSYS blog has published many posts and ANSYS has held a number of webinars describing the advantages that ANSYS 17.0 provides for turbomachinery simulation. In the following, I will review these events and provide my summary of 10 (out of many more) exciting developments:
- A focus on HPC delivers significant speedups and ability to handle larger models, for both CFD and mechanical simulation.
- A new mechanical model simulates journal bearings, additionally providing important inputs of stiffness and damping for rotordynamics simulation.
- Fracture analysis is faster and easier with arbitrary crack surface definition and post-processing.
Engineers like to have lots of tools at their disposal. In my home workshop I have a lot of them, but it seems that there is always something extra that I could use for one particular job or another. Having the right tool for that job, and one of high quality that will not break in the middle of a project, is valuable as well. And organization is a good thing too, because if you can’t find tools when you need them and are unable to use them in conjunction with other tools, then the job does not progress very well. Having my toolkit in order is beneficial when the unexpected happens or if I need to complete a job in short order. Continue reading
Pumps are pervasive and play an important role across many industries and in our daily lives. They have been around for a long time, when you consider that the Archimedes screw dates back over two thousand years. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from heart pumps that measure only millimeters in size to large pump-turbines that measure meters in diameter. Some pumps are custom- engineered and very high-tech, such as those used for liquid rocket propulsion, nuclear submarines or power plant applications. Many others are regarded as a commodity items, although that view is changing, as we shall see. Some estimate that pumps consume as much as 10% of the electricity generated worldwide. Continue reading
Prediction of blade row performance and aeromechanics is important to turbomachinery development because turbomachinery blading lies at the heart of all types of turbomachines: pumps, fans, compressors, turbines etc. Improving the aerodynamic (or hydrodynamic) and structural aspects of the blading is essential to meeting modern requirements for performance and durability. If we consider that the fluid mechanics primarily influences performance, including fuel efficiency, then the structural mechanics is more responsible for durability. But of course, the two are closely related, and that is particularly true as the operating temperature increases, as in the hot section of modern gas turbines. Most end users do not want to sacrifice durability for energy efficiency, but rather demand both. Continue reading
Turbomachinery designers are under pressure to improve all aspects of turbomachinery performance. That applies not only to aircraft engine developers, who sometimes seem to garner the most attention in the news, but to designers of most other machine types as well. While fuel burn and efficiency targets are most often discussed, these targets must be balanced with a number of other competing and often opposing considerations, such as operating range, reliability, cost, time to market, etc.
Engineering simulation now plays a key role in turbomachinery development. This has come about because of significant improvements in engineering software and computing speed. Many turbomachinery companies were early adopters of simulation; they played a significant role in shaping software development to their needs and validating it for their applications. Experiment and testing still play an important role, but often only when a design is sufficiently evolved, or in situations where fundamental information is missing. So simulation and testing complement one another. Continue reading
Advanced simulation tools are essential for contemporary and competitive product design. But it is the assembly of these tools into an effective, automated design system that gives leading companies an additional advantage. One such company is Denmark-based Grundfos, one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers.
Grundfos estimates that pumps currently account for 10 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption. This fact provides ample incentive to improve pump efficiency, given the current drive for energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. Grundfos produces pumps for a wide range of applications: circulator pumps for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry as well as pumps for water supply, sewage, boiler, and other industrial applications and for inclusion in the equipment of other OEM’s. With such a broad line of products, it is clear that there is plenty of potential for putting an automated design loop system to work. Continue reading
On November 3rd, as part of the ANSYS Convergence webinar series, we will presenting an interesting story on how simulation has enabled a well-established company to move rapidly along the innovation curve. That company is Gilbert, Gilkes & Gordon Ltd., aka Gilkes. The company has successfully operated for over 150 years in the Lakes District of the United Kingdom. Their main products are small hydropower systems for generating electricity, and pumps for circulating cooling water in diesel engines. Continue reading