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The Relationship Between Energy Separation and Base Drag in Turbine Blade Wakes

[+] Author Affiliations
J. P. Gostelow

University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

W. E. Carscallen, A. Mahallati

National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

M. Kurosaka

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Paper No. GT2013-94936, pp. V06AT36A021; 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 and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada


During annular cascade testing of a highly-loaded turbine stage of aggressive design, the nozzle blading experienced a redistribution of the downstream total temperature field. In this ostensibly adiabatic arrangement, the central regions of the vane wakes exhibited a significant decrease in total temperature and their edges showed an unexpected increase. To resolve these anomalous results and obtain detailed information over the Mach number range, the mid-span section of the nozzle was tested in a large scale transonic planar cascade. At high subsonic speeds, vortex shedding created energy redistribution in the wake. This was measured using an 80 kHz bandwidth temperature probe, making it possible to investigate wake total temperature fluctuations in addition to fluctuations in total pressure, and hence entropy. ‘Hot spots’ of increased total temperature were found to be located at the edge of the wake and ‘cold spots’ of decreased total temperature were located close to the wake center line. The results from the turbine cascade were consistent with the phenomenon of energy separation behind bluff bodies. High base pressure losses were observed and were also related to the vortex shedding. The blade had a thick trailing edge and the high base pressure loss condition coincided with the peak of energy separation in the wake. The analysis indicates that in the subsonic speed range the phenomena of energy separation and of base pressure deficit are inextricably linked to, and are caused by, vortex shedding. A strategy for minimizing the related adverse impacts on performance is outlined.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada



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