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Large Eddy Simulation of Transitional Flow in a Compressor Cascade

[+] Author Affiliations
Syed Anjum Haider Rizvi, Joseph Mathew

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Paper No. GT2017-64279, pp. V02BT41A034; 15 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 2B: Turbomachinery
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 26–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5079-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


At off-design conditions, when the blade Reynolds number is low, a significant part of the blade boundary layer can be transitional. Then, standard RANS models are unable to predict the flows correctly but explicit transition modeling provides some improvement. Since large eddy simulations (LES) are improvements on RANS, the performance of LES was examined by simulating a flow through a linear, compressor cascade for which experimental data are available — specifically at the Reynolds number of 210,000 based on blade chord when transition processes occur over a significant extent of the suction surface.

The LES were performed with an explicit filtering approach, applying a low-pass filter to achieve sub-grid-scale modeling. Explicit 8th-order difference formulas were used to obtain high resolution spatial derivative terms. An O-grid was wrapped around the blade with suitable clustering for the boundary layer and regions of large changes along the blade. Turbulent in-flow was provided from a precursor simulation of homogeneous, isotropic turbulence. Two LES and a DNS were performed. The second LES refines the grid in the vicinity of the separation bubble on the suction surface, and along the span. Surface pressure distributions from all simulations agree closely with experiment, thus providing a much better prediction than even transition-sensitive RANS computations. Wall normal profiles of axial velocity and fluctuations also agree closely with experiment. Differences between LES and DNS are small, but the refined grid LES is closer to the DNS almost everywhere. This monotonic convergence, expected of the LES method used, demonstrates its reliability.

The pressure surface undergoes transition almost immediately downstream of the leading edge. On the suction surface there are streaks as expected for freestream-turbulence-induced transition, but spots do not appear. Instead, a separating shear layer rolls up and breaks down to turbulence at re-attachment. Both LES capture this process. Skin friction distribution reveals the transition near the re-attachment to occur over an extended region, and subsequent relaxation is slower in the LES. The narrower transition zone in the DNS is indicative of the essential role of smaller scales during transition that should not be neglected in LES. Simulation data also reveal that an assumption of laminar kinetic energy transition models that Reynolds shear stress remains small in the pre-transitional region is supported. The remaining differences in the predictions of such models is thus likely to be the separation-induced transition which preempts the spot formation.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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