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The Effect of an Upstream Compressor on a Non-Axisymmetric S-Duct

[+] Author Affiliations
Marios K. Karakasis, Edward M. J. Naylor, Robert J. Miller, Howard P. Hodson

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Paper No. GT2010-23404, pp. 477-486; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 7: Turbomachinery, Parts A, B, and C
  • Glasgow, UK, June 14–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4402-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3872-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper considers the effect of an upstream compressor stage on a compressor inter-spool duct. The duct geometry must be fixed early in the engine design process, well before the design of the upstream stages. It is therefore important that the designer has a good physical insight into how engine representative inlet conditions affect the limits of the duct design space. An experimental and computational investigation of two strutted inter-spool S-ducts was undertaken. Both were tested with and without an upstream stage present. The first duct is of a conventional axisymmetric design with a radius change to length ratio ΔR/L = 0.50. This duct is characteristic of the most extreme ducts considered in modern engine design. The second duct is of a non-axisymmetric design and is 20% shorter, ΔR/L = 0.625. This is well beyond the design limit of axi-symmetric strutted ducts. The paper shows that the presence of the upstream stage increases the duct loss by 54%. The rise in loss occurs on the hub wall and is the result of the incoming stator wakes pooling onto the hub wall, forming a row of contra-rotating streamwise vortex pairs adjacent to the hub wall. These vortices pump boundary layer fluid into the free stream, thus raising the mixing loss. In the non-axisymmetric duct an extra mechanism was observed. The streamwise vortex pairs act to ‘re-energise’ the boundary layer. This reduces strut secondary losses caused by the endwall contouring. The net result is that on the non-axisymmetric duct the presence of an upstream stage only increases the duct loss by 28%. Comparing the two ducts, it is shown that with engine representative inlet conditions, the conventional symmetric duct and 20% shorter non-axisymmetric duct have identical performance. This shows that low loss ducts can be designed which are significantly more extreme than current design limits.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Compressors , Ducts



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