Turbines and Compressors: Interactive Simulation

This simulation was prepared using Mathematica. Download the free Wolfram player, and then download the simulation CDF file (link given below or click on figure to download). Try to predict the behavior when a parameter changes before using a slider to change that parameter. A screencast below explains how to use this simulation.

This Demonstration compares two adiabatic compressors or turbines with different efficiencies. Air, which is assumed to be an ideal gas, is either compressed or expanded. Select “compressor” or “turbine”, and select whether to “compare at the same outlet pressure” or “temperature” using the buttons. Select the outlet pressure or temperature, and select the efficiency of each turbine or compressor with sliders. The efficiency is relative to a reversible turbine or compressor.

Try to answer these questions before determining the answer with the simulation. We suggest that you write down the reasons for your answers.

  1. Does the amount of work into a compressor change as efficiency increases but the outlet temperature stays constant?
  2. For the same outlet pressure, will a less-efficient turbine have a higher outlet temperature than a more efficient one? Which produces more work?