CONDOR in the industry: The method project

My work on optimization techniques for high computing load,

continuous function without derivatives available is financed by the LTR European project METHOD (METHOD stands for Achievement Of Maximum Efficiency For Process Centrifugal Compressors THrough New Techniques Of Design). The goal of this project is to optimize the shape of the blades inside a Centrifugal Compressor (see the two illustrations below).

The shape of the blades is described by 25 parameters. The optimization algorithm is the following:

  1. Based on the 25 parameters, generated a 3D grid. Use this grid to simulate the flow of the gaz inside the turbine. Wait for stationnary conditions (often compute during 1 hour). Extract
    from the simulation the outlet pressure, the outlet velocy, the energy transmit to the gaz at stationnary conditions. Aggregate all these indices in one general overall number representing the quality of the turbine. We simply have an objective function which take as input a vector of 25 parameters and gives as output the quality associated. We want to maximize this function. All this part is done by the Energetics Department "Sergio Stecco"
    of the "Università degli Studi di Firenze"
  2. Based on the previous evaluation of the objective function, we must choose a new shape to try. Since each evaluation of the objective function takes more or less 1 hour, we must choose very carefully the next shape. See next section for a deeper explanation. If the optimal shape has been found stop, otherwise go to step 1.