Popular Industrial Applications Of Turbomachinery Systems
Suppose you are in the engineering industry. In that case, you are well aware of the essential nature of turbomachinery in today's world. Put simply, turbomachinery refers to devices designed to facilitate energy transfer between a rotor and fluid. To understand these machines, consider some of their most common applications in various industries, as discussed below.
1. Automotive industry
If you have come across superchargers or turbochargers, you know the two most popular turbomachines in the automotive industry. Superchargers are a form of blower or air compressor used in the auto industry to boost the density or pressure of air going into an engine, thereby increasing the supply of oxygen needed to burn fuel. That means these components enhance engine performance through the addition of extra air. Turbochargers are similar to superchargers with one distinct difference: they rely on turbines set in the exhaust stream to power engines. These devices are renowned for increasing the efficiency of racing, hybrid, classic, and sports cars.
2. Aerospace industry
The two most common turbomachinery systems in the aerospace industry are turbopumps and gas turbines. Turbopumps are fluid pumps powered by gas turbines. They play a significant role in providing rocket engines with the extreme mass flow rates and propellant pressures needed to run effectively. Generally, turbopumps increase liquid or gas pressure, boosting engine performance and power. On the other hand, gas turbines propel modern aircraft by supplying mechanical energy sourced from liquid fuels or natural gas.
3. Petrochemical industry
Turbomachinery systems are vital in numerous facets of the petrochemical industry, including refineries, petrochemical plants, gas production facilities, and pipelines. For instance, gas turbines, a type of turbomachines, are essential for driving compressors designed to force oil from below the earth's surface and compress gas for transportation through gas injection. Moreover, the turbomachinery systems that power air compressors facilitate oil recovery and reservoir pressure maintenance in oil fields through gas reinjection.
4. Power generation
Many turbomachinery systems are used in power generation, ranging from steam turbines and hydroelectric systems to windmills and gas turbines. All these play their part in ensuring power generation is possible and efficient. For example, windmills, which come in different shapes and sizes, use attached blades to catch the wind, spin, and generate electricity. On the other hand, steam turbines used in power plants generate electric power by converting steam's heat energy into mechanical energy, then directing it into a generator designed to execute the last phase of power generation.
5. Marine industry
Some of the turbomachines commonly used in the marine industry include gas turbines and steam turbines. Since gas turbines have a superior power-to-weight ratio, they are sometimes used in watercraft propulsion. But steam turbines are currently extensively used as main engines in ships like commercial vessels, supertankers, and ice breakers, which demand high power to operate.