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Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Unsteady Leakage Flow Through the Rotor Tip Labyrinth of a 1.5-Stage Axial Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
K. Wolter

Uhde GmbH, Dortmund, Germany

A. Giboni

Siemens AG Industrial Applications, Duisburg, Germany

P. Peters

Atlas Copco Energas GmbH, Cologne, Germany

J. R. Menter, H. Pfost

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany

Paper No. GT2005-68156, pp. 439-450; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2005: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 6: Turbo Expo 2005, Parts A and B
  • Reno, Nevada, USA, June 6–9, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4730-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3754-8
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


This paper presents the results of unsteady probe measurements and numerical flow calculations in a 1.5-stage low speed axial turbine with a straight labyrinth seal on a rotor shroud. The unsteady development of the leakage flow in the three cavities is described and analysed in detail. For the investigation of the leakage flow detailed time-accurate measurements of the three-dimensional flow field were carried out in five measurement planes from casing to the rotor shroud over more than one pitch. These measurements were carried out with a miniature pneumatic five-hole probe and miniature triple hot-wire probes. Both probes have a spherical head for better adjustment in flow direction. The high resolution of 330 measurement points in each of the five measurement planes represents the flow field in great detail. The unsteady experimental data was compared with the results of the unsteady numerical simulation of the turbine flow, calculated by the 3D-Navier-Stokes Solver CFX-TASCflow. The calculated data correspond well with the experimental results and allow a detailed analysis of the flow in the cavities of the labyrinth. As demonstrated in this paper the investigations show that the leakage flow at the inlet ant outlet of the labyrinth is strongly influenced by the different positions of the rotor to the stator. The unsteady experimental and numerical data indicates intensive effects of the leakage flow caused and influenced by the trailing edge of the first stator and the potential effect of the rotor leading edge. An intensive vortex develops depending on the rotor position in the first cavity. This vortex is also influenced by a small corner vortex above the axial inlet gap of the labyrinth. After the fins this unsteady influence of the leakage flow decreases and below the jet a large vortex moves in circumferential direction. The intensity of this circulation vortex is reduced at the end of the last cavity due to the interaction with the main flow and the flow direction out of the labyrinth. Therefore the unsteady behaviour of the leakage flow grows up, which is also caused by its uneven entry into the main flow.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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