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Axial Compressor Aerodynamics Under Sub-Idle Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Enric Illana, Nicholas Grech, Pavlos K. Zachos, Vassilios Pachidis

Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK

Paper No. GT2013-94368, pp. V06AT35A006; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 6A: Turbomachinery
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5522-5
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


With stricter regulations on engine altitude relight capability, the understanding of low-speed axial compressor performance is becoming increasingly important. At such far off-design conditions, compressors behave differently from design point, with large changes in the flow phenomena and reduced reliability on the established empirical equations and assumptions.

This work focuses on the aerodynamics of a locked-rotor axial compressor at high inlet Mach number conditions, using a validated numerical simulation approach. In a locked-rotor compressor there is very little compression of the inflow. The air is forced to accelerate, with the rear stages seeing the highest velocities. Depending on the inlet Mach number, the velocity at the rear stages can be close to sonic, until choking conditions are reached. To predict accurately the zero-speed compressor performance close to the choking point, the corresponding blade aerodynamic coefficients are evaluated as a function of the blade’s physical parameters and the inlet Mach number. In addition, the blockage due to the separated flow as a result of the high negative incidences is investigated as a function of inlet Mach number, incidence, solidity and stagger angle. Models that predict the characteristics and choking mass flow of the compressor, require such data.

This work offers a better insight into the low-speed and locked rotor characteristics of the compressor. The zero-speed line can be calculated through a stage-stacking technique using the aerodynamic coefficients and flow blockage derived from the numerical simulations. Low-speed lines between the zero and idle-speed line can subsequently be created through interpolation. Using this methodology, it is possible to generate a complete sub-idle map for a multi-stage axial compressor, enhancing the predictive capability of whole engine performance solvers.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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