In industrial process plants, often there is the need to reduce the pressure of the operating flow. Generally this is performed by means of valves which expand the flow without any work done. The same operation could be performed by replacing these valves with turbines, with the advantage of energy recovery, hence improving the overall efficiency of the system.
In this work, a simple and rapid method is shown in order to design a single stage, straight bladed, axial impulse turbine for enthalpy recovery. Assigned the desired flow rate and the minimum power output, the turbine design is performed according to a one-dimensional study into which loss effects are considered by means of appropriate coefficients. From the one-dimensional analysis the heights, the pitch angle, the inlet and outlet angles of both rotor and stator blades are obtained. Actually, the rotor and stator blade profiles are defined by means of several analytical functions. The blade design is then validated by means of CFD simulations. The definition of loss coefficients and blade geometrical parameters is clearly an iterative process, which needs to be repeated until convergence is reached. Furthermore, by means of fully 3D simulations, the effect of the rotor-stator distance is investigated in order to maximize the turbine performance.