Investigation into the viability of an axial compressor for a single shaft PBMM application
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of implementing axial compressors in the proposed single shaft Pebble Bed Micro Model (PBMM) cycle. Software for the development of preliminary axial compressor design was written with the aid of Engineering Equation Solver (EES), The preliminary design parameters obtained from the EES program was then used as input for the compressor analysis in Concepts NREC. An extensive literature review was conducted to obtain the required technical information concerning cycle analysis and compressor design. Cycle simulations were carried out with both Helium and Nitrogen as the working fluid to rationalise the most suitable cycle for this application. EES and Concepts NREC (Axial) were used to validate the software programs written for the cycle analysis and the preliminary compressor design. The EES output parameters of both programs closely resemble that of the verification software. Axial and radial compressors were considered during the selection of the most appropriate compressor to be utilized in the cycle. As a result of this study it could be concluded that radial compressors with Nitrogen as the working fluid will be the best option in terms of complexity and expenses. A detailed cost analysis is recommended as it was not part of this study's scope. A detailed cost investigation could advance the conclusion of this study. The implementation of a high speed generator was also considered in the study. During the study it was concluded that a high speed generator would be most suitable for a micro model application.
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