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Investigation of the Unstable Flow Structure in a Rotating Cavity

[+] Author Affiliations
Dieter Bohn, Jing Ren, Christian Tuemmers

RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

Paper No. GT2006-90494, pp. 1433-1442; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 3: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4238-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3774-2
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Annular cavities are found inside rotor shafts of turbomachines with an axial or radial throughflow of cooling air, which influences the thermal efficiency and system reliability of the gas turbines. The flow and heat transfer phenomena in those cavities should be investigated in order to minimize the thermal load and guarantee system reliability. An experimental rig is set up in the Institute of Steam and Gas Turbines to analyze the flow structure inside the rotating cavity with an axial throughflow of cooling air. The corresponding 3D numerical investigation is carried out with the in-house fluid solver CHTflow, in which the Coriolis force and the buoyancy force are implemented in the time-dependent Navier-Stokes equations. Both the experimental and numerical results show the whole flow structure rotating against the cavity rotating direction. The flow passing the observation windows shows the quite similar trajectories in the experimental and numerical results. The computed sequences and periods of the vortex flow structure correspond closely with those observed in the experiment. Furthermore, the numerical analysis reveals a flow pattern changing between single pair, double pairs and triple pairs vortices. It is suggested that the vortices inside the cavity are created by the gravitational buoyancy force in the investigated case, and the number and strength of the vortices are controlled mainly by the Coriolis force.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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