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CFD Simulations of Unsteady Wakes on a Highly Loaded Low Pressure Turbine Airfoil (L1A)

[+] Author Affiliations
Mounir B. Ibrahim, Samuel Vinci

Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

Olga Kartuzova

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Ralph J. Volino

United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

Paper No. GT2012-69770, pp. 843-856; 14 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4470-0
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


A study of a very high lift, low-pressure turbine airfoil in the presence of unsteady wakes was performed computationally and compared against experimental results. The experiments were conducted in a low speed wind tunnel under high (4.9%) and then low (0.6%) freestream turbulence intensity conditions with a flow coefficient (ζ) of 0.7. The experiments were done on a linear cascade with wakes that were produced from moving rods upstream of the cascade with the rod to blade spacing varied from 1 to 1.6 to 2. In the present study two different Reynolds numbers (25,000 and 50,000, based on the suction surface length and the nominal exit velocity from the cascade) were considered.

The experimental and computational data have shown that in cases without wakes, the boundary layer separated and did not reattach. The CFD was performed with Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS), Transition-SST, utilizing the finite-volume code ANSYS FLUENT under the same freestream turbulence and Reynolds number conditions as the experiment but only at a rod to blade spacing of 1.

With wakes, separation was largely suppressed, particularly if the wake passing frequency was sufficiently high. Similar effect was predicted by 3D CFD simulations. Computational results for the pressure coefficients and velocity profiles were in a reasonable agreement with experimental ones for all cases examined. The 2D CFD efforts failed to capture the three dimensionality effects of the wake and thus were less consistent with the experimental data.

As a further computational study, cases were run to simulate higher wake passing frequencies which were not run experimentally. The results of these computational cases showed that an initial 25% increase from the experimental dimensionless wake passing frequency of F = 0.45 greatly reduced the size of the separation bubble, nearly completely suppressing it, however an additional 33% increase on top of this did not prove to have much of an effect.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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