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Numerical Investigation of Flow Through an Ultra-Micro Scale Gas Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
Rohann D’souza, Rajnish Sharma

University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Paper No. IMECE2017-70265, pp. V006T08A026; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Energy
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5841-7
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The ultra-micro scale gas turbine (UMGT) is an ongoing area of research, as an alternate power source for portable electronic devices. To advance our understanding that will help in its development, this paper focuses on a numerical analysis via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of flow through a 3 dimensional (3D) blade profiled UMGT turbine. CFD modelling was based off an integrated turbine that consists of a volute, nozzle guide vanes (NGV) and rotor. Firstly, the flow through the integrated system as well as each component was analyzed. Secondly, the turbine was simulated under three different isothermal conditions and compared to the adiabatic situation, in order to understand the loss mechanisms. Lastly, the effect of tip clearance was studied, where it was varied between 0–10% of the blade height.

CFD results showed, the flow through the turbine was quite well behaved, however separation of flow at the NGV leading edge, and residual swirl at the rotor trailing edge, were observed. The effects of the isothermal wall boundary condition was very pronounced at the volute and NGV, resulting in a large amount of good heat to be conducted away, at the rotor however conduction was only a percentage of the viscous heat generated. Lastly tip clearance proved to have a linearly detrimental effect on power.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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