A design system for the blade sections of industrial axial compressors has been developed. The method combines a parametric geometry definition method, a powerful blade-to-blade flow solver (MISES) and an optimization technique (breeder genetic algorithm) with an appropriate fitness function. Particular effort has been devoted to the design of the fitness function for this application which includes non-dimensional terms related to the required performance at design and off-design operating points. It has been found that essential aspects of the design (such as the required flow turning, or mechanical constraints) should not be part of the fitness function, but need to be treated as so-called “killer” criteria in the genetic algorithm. Finally, it has been found worthwhile to examine the effect of the weighting factors of the fitness function to identify how these affect the performance of the sections. The system has been tested on the design of a repeating stage for the middle stages of an industrial axial compressor. The resulting profiles show an increased operating range compared to an earlier design using NACA65 profiles.

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