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CFD Simulation of Fouling on Axial Compressor Stages

[+] Author Affiliations
Mirko Morini, Michele Pinelli, Pier Ruggero Spina, Mauro Venturini

University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

Paper No. GT2009-59025, pp. 331-342; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2009: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 5: Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery; Oil and Gas Applications
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 8–12, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4886-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3849-5
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Three-dimensional numerical simulations of the effect of fouling on an axial compressor stage were carried out. As a case study, the NASA Stage 37 was considered for the numerical investigation, which was performed by means of a commercial computational fluid dynamic code. The numerical model was validated against the experimental data available from literature. Computed performance maps and main flow field features showed a good agreement with the experimental data. The model was considered representative of a realistic compressor stage. The model was then used to simulate the occurrence of fouling by imposing different combinations of added thickness and surface roughness levels. The effect of fouling on compressor performances was studied. Reductions of the flow coefficient and of the pressure coefficient were found to be of the same order of magnitude of the experimental results found in literature. The model developed seems to overcome some of the limitations of other models found in literature that tend to significantly underestimate the actual values of performance reduction. The numerical results were also used to analyze and debug the stage performance scaling procedure used in stage stacking models in order to represent fouling in multistage compressors. The analysis highlighted that scaling can adequately represent the behavior of the fouled stage in the choked flow region, but it does not capture the reduction of the maximum of the pressure coefficient which is instead revealed by the numerical simulations. Finally, blockage due to fouling was investigated both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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