Date of Award:

8-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Geordie Richards

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Stephen Whitmore

Third Advisor:

David Geller

Abstract

Expanders allow pressurized fluids to undergo a pressure decrease in a controlled environment via volumetric growth to extract fluid energy. There are many types of expanders, and the objective of this thesis is to model the efficiencies of the planetary rotor expander (PRE), a century-old design undeveloped due to insufficient manufacturing capabilities (until recently). Geometric relationships are derived and mathematical models are generated to determine the efficiency of the PRE as a function of design variables. Two industrially relevant case studies show that, to maximize isentropic efficiency, the planetary rotor expander (PRE) rotational frequency is maximized and rotor geometry optimized.

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