Abstract

The objective of this project was to develop a computer model for the helical rotor expander which can be used to determine performance potential and to facilitate optimization of expander design. Testing has shown that this energy conversion device has substantial potential advantages over conventional turbines in very high temperature cycles and for two-phase flow. However, the tests have been limited to particular non-optimized designs, and a model is badly needed to assess viable design improvements and their effects on performance. A computer model was developed to simulate the geometric and thermal/fluid characteristics of the expander to give power output, mass flow rate, and efficiency versus rotational speed for any chosen design configuration. The model has been tested against experimental data from expanders running on nitrogen gas and two-phase steam with good agreement. It is now ready and available for use in developing and evaluating designs for new applications of the helical rotor expander.

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