ASME Conference Presenter Attendance Policy and Archival Proceedings

2017;():V02AT00A001. doi:10.1115/GT2017-NS2A.

This online compilation of papers from the ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition (GT2017) represents the archival version of the Conference Proceedings. According to ASME’s conference presenter attendance policy, if a paper is not presented at the Conference by an author of the paper, the paper will not be published in the official archival Proceedings, which are registered with the Library of Congress and are submitted for abstracting and indexing. The paper also will not be published in The ASME Digital Collection and may not be cited as a published paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Axial Flow Fan and Compressor Aerodynamics

2017;():V02AT39A001. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63020.

Rotor wake dispersion in a low-speed, one and half stage axial compressor is investigated in detail with a Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The primary focus is to quantify the total pressure recovery due to wake stretching and the total pressure loss from the rotor wake interaction with the stator blade boundary layer. The relative magnitude of the aerodynamic loss due to these two effects is examined at several radial locations. The spacing between the rotor and the stator was varied from 29% to 112% of the rotor axial chord at the mid span to investigate the effects of rotor wake decay before entering the stator passage. The current analysis indicates that the efficiency through the compressor stage is increased about 0.5% when the spacing between the rotor and the stator is decreased from 112% to 29% of the rotor axial chord at mid-span. 22% of the efficiency gain from the narrower axial gap is due to the wake recovery and 63% is due to the stronger unsteady pressure field at the exit of the rotor due to stage interaction. Total pressure loss/recovery across the stator varies significantly in the radial direction for the current compressor, which has a much lower aspect ratio. The total pressure recovery due to wake stretching is larger than the total pressure loss due to the unsteady boundary layer development on the stator blade from 20% to 35% of the span from the hub for 29% spacing and from 35% to 55% of the span for 112% spacing. Above 50% of the span, rotor tip clearance flow affects wake dispersion and the overall wake recovery is less than expected.

Topics: Compressors , Wakes
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A002. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63031.

In many aerodynamic design parameters for the axial-flow compressor, three variables of tailored blading, blade lean and sweep were considered in the re-design efforts of a transonic single stage which had been designed in 1960’s NASA public domains. As Part 1, the re-design was limited to the stator vane only. For the original MCA (Multiple Circular Arc) blading, which had been applied at all radii, the CDA (Controlled Diffusion Airfoil) blading was introduced at midspan as the first variant, and the endwalls of hub and casing (or tip) were replaced with the DCA (Double Circular Arc) blading for the second variant. Aerodynamic performance was predicted through a series of CFD analysis at design speed, and the best aerodynamic improvement, in terms of pressure ratio/efficiency and operability, was found in the first variant of tailored blading. It was selected as a baseline for the next design efforts with blade lean, sweep and both combined. Among 12 variants, a case of positively and mildly leaned blades was found the most attractive one, relative to the original design, providing benefits of an 1.0% increase of pressure ratio at design flow, an 1.7% increase of efficiency at design flow, a 10.5% increase of the surge margin and a 32.3% increase of the choke margin.

Topics: Compressors , Design , Stators
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A003. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63051.

The demand of increasing pressure ratios for modern high pressure compressors leads to decreasing blade heights in the last stages. As tip clearances cannot be reduced to any amount and minimum values might be necessary for safety reasons, the tip clearance ratios of the last stages can reach values notably higher than current norms. This can be intensified by a compressor running in transient operations where thermal differences can lead to further growing clearances. For decades, the detrimental effects of large clearances on an axial compressor’s operating range and efficiency are known and investigated. The ability of circumferential casing grooves in the rotor casing to improve the compressor’s operating range has also been in the focus of research for many years. Their simplicity and ease of installation are one reason for their continuing popularity nowadays, where advanced methods to increase the operating range of an axial compressor are known.

In a previous paper [1], three different circumferential groove casing treatments were investigated in a single stage environment in the Low Speed Axial Research Compressor at TU Dresden. One of these grooves was able to notably improve the operating range and the efficiency of the single stage compressor at very large rotor tip clearances (5% of chord length). In this paper, the results of tests with this particular groove type in a three stage environment in the Low Speed Axial Research Compressor are presented. Two different rotor tip clearance sizes of 1.2% and 5% of tip chord length were investigated. At the small tip clearance, the grooves are almost neutral. Only small reductions in total pressure ratio and efficiency compared to the solid wall can be observed. If the compressor runs with large tip clearances it notably benefits from the casing grooves. Both, total pressure and efficiency can be improved by the grooves in a similar extent as in single stage tests. Five-hole probe measurements and unsteady wall pressure measurements show the influence of the groove on the flow field. With the help of numerical investigations the different behavior of the grooves at the two tip clearance sizes will be discussed.

Topics: Compressors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A004. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63217.

The impact of boundary layer suction on the aerodynamic performance of bowed compressor cascades is discussed in this paper. Preliminary studies are conducted in the context of a highly loaded compressor cascade with peak diffusion factor of 0.60 and camber angle of 60 degrees. Comparison between numerical simulation results and experiment data shows that blade bowing may well help to modify the radial migration of flow features and prevent the blade suction surface boundary layer from separating. It is noteworthy that there exists an optimum blade bowing design with different operating conditions to increase the incidence range and reduce the loss over the incidence range.

With the introduction of the boundary layer suction, the blade design becomes more complicated. This paper, therefore, conducts a thorough numerical study on design parameters including bowed blade geometry, aspirated flow fraction, and aspiration slot location based on mechanical simplicity and fabrication constraints. For a better understanding of the flow physics, the aspiration slot and plenum are included as part of the computational domain. The aspirated fluid passes into the plenum and is removed through both the hub and the shroud of the blade. From there it can be dumped overboard or carried to another point in the engine to be used as cooling air. Without considering the stagnation pressure loss of the aspirated flow, the blade lose can be sustainably decreased with the growing aspirated flow fractions from 0.5% to 2.5% of the inlet mass flow. However, when the aspirated flow’s effect on stagnation pressure loss is properly quantified, the blade’s loss decreasing trend will be relatively stable or even reversed with the aspirated flow fraction increasing.

The calculations show that the application of aspiration on the flow path needs to be investigated and combined with blade bowing to partly counter the negative impacts with the application of aspiration. The application of blade bowing on aspirated blade makes it possible to achieve the same loss reduction by using lower amounts of aspirated flow. In other words, the increase in spanwise pressure gradient near the endwalls can be further utilized to reduce the effects of secondary flow by bowed blade with the same aspirated flow fraction.

Aspiration should not be isolated from blade bowing, the optimum blade bowing angle is different on the basis of different aspirated flow fraction and aspiration slot location. The aspiration slot location is determined by the flow phenomena such as the three-dimensional separation in the cascade corner. In consideration of the stagnation pressure loss from the aspirated flow, aspiration inside of the three-dimensional separation region has a beneficial impact on the blade loss. Conversely, it will quickly lose its effectiveness, or even lead to slight deterioration of the aerodynamic performance if aspiration location is in the midspan, outside the three-dimensional separation region.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A005. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63235.

Tandem blade configurations are said to being able to outperform conventional single blades in terms of loss behaviour and flow turning. The work presented here is supported by experimental investigations which were conducted at a 2D linear stator cascade at the Chair for Aero Engines at the Technische Universität Berlin. Two different tandem blade configurations with a different load split are examined and compared against a conventional single reference blade.

Multi-coloured oil flow visualisation complemented by wake flow measurements show the development of the secondary flow structures and enable a thorough understanding of the impact of varying tangential displacement for tandem blades. The results show that tandem blades can reduce the total pressure losses, especially in the midspan region, which also results in smaller overall values. In addition, the incidence angle variation has shown that the working range of the tandem vanes exceeds the originally designed working range of the single reference blade. The tandem configurations still allow flow guidance at stall condition and prove the capability of the concept.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A006. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63246.

We present results of experiments on a periodically unsteady compressor stator flow of the type which would be expected in consequence of pulsed combustion. A Reynolds number of Re = 600000 was used for the investigations. The experiments were conducted on the two-dimensional low-speed compressor testing facility in Berlin. A choking device downstream the trailing edges induced a periodic non-steady outflow condition to each stator vane which simulated the impact of a pressure gaining combuster downstream from the last stator. The Strouhal number of the periodic disturbance was Sr = 0.03 w.r.t. the stator chord length. Due to the periodic non-steady outflow condition, the flow-field suffers from periodic flow separation phenomena, which were managed by means of active flow control. In our case, active control of the corner separation was applied using fluidic actuators based on the principle of fluidic amplification. The flow separation on the centre region of the stator blade was suppressed by means of a fluidic blade actuator leading to an overall time-averaged loss reduction of 11.5%, increasing the static pressure recovery by 6.8% while operating in the non-steady regime. Pressure measurements on the stator blade and the wake as well as PIV data proved the beneficial effect of the active flow control application to the flow field and the improvement of the compressor characteristics. The actuation efficiency was evaluated by two figures of merit introduced in this contribution.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A007. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63261.

Numerical simulations with the steady 3D RANS were performed on the rear stage of a modern high pressure compressor. The labyrinth seal cavity model of the shrouded stator was simplified according to the actual stator structure, which the seal cavity gap is 1% of blade height. Several typical configurations (shrouded stator, idealized stator and cantilevered stators) were designed and carried out, and cantilevered stators contained no gap, small gap (CS1%), design gap (CS2.5%) and large gap (CS4%/CS5%). The results indicate due to the effect of leakage flow from 1% span seal cavity gap, the total pressure loss of SS is larger than IS, while IS instead of SS in the process of the compressor design, the stall margin will be enlarged nearly 6% numerically. At the design point, when the hub gap is 3.5% span clearance CS has the same loss with IS, and when the hub gap is 4.5% span clearance CS has almost the same loss with SS. Among all operation range, the total pressure loss of S1 increases with the increase of the hub clearance. When the hub gap is 0 (CS0), there is no leakage flow and the loss is the least. At the design point, comparing with SS, the total pressure loss coefficient of CS0 decreases 18.34%, CS2.5% decreases 8.46% and IS decreases 6.45%. It means if the cantilevered stator with 2.5% span hub clearance were adopted in the HPC, the performance would be better than the shrouded stator. However, because of the matching condition, the rotor that follows after cantilevered stator should be redesigned according to blade loading and inlet flow angle changed. The performance of cantilevered stator is impacted of various hub clearance, the loss below 25% span increases significantly with hub clearance, the maximum value of outlet flow angle deviation is 2.3 degree. The stator hub peak loading is shifted upstream toward the leading edge when hub clearance size is increased. The total pressure loss coefficient and pressure coefficient at different axial position had the function relation. When the hub clearance increases, the position of double leakage flow start backwards, in the rear part of stator the secondary flow becomes stronger leading to more mixing loss and lower total pressure.

Topics: Compressors , Stators
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A008. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63283.

Current trends on intermediate pressure, axial compressors designs for aeroengine applications demand to extend their operation envelope into low Reynolds number regimes, of the order of 105 based on the real chord and inlet velocity (Re). In this range, a very limited open experimental database on profile performance can be found. Furthermore, in order to propose high efficiency designs for this regime, it is critical to determine and to understand the profile behaviour with respect to different operating parameters. In this work, a detailed experimental study of a proposed high efficiency, intermediate pressure compressor aerofoil has been carried out, both for design and off-design flow incidences, in the range 1.5 · 105 < Re < 3.5 · 105,. The experimental facility is a low-speed linear cascade where different boundary suction strategies have been implemented to optimize the flow periodicity and to minimize pressure gradient perturbations induced by end-wall secondary flow development, in an effort to ensure high quality, 2D passage flow evolution both at design and significant off-design incidences. High resolution total pressure loss and LDV traverses performed at different streamwise locations have been carried out to describe the flow evolution. The characterizations performed at close to nominal incidence give a profile loss dependence on the Reynolds number that exhibits two clearly differentiated ranges, with the lower one exhibiting a higher profile loss dependence on the Reynolds number. At large off-design incidences, the profile loss coefficient practically becomes independent of the Reynolds number, rapidly increasing as the incidence is increased. In both cases physical arguments and scaling laws based on the experimental evidence are proposed to explain the profile behavior. RANS and URANS based CDF simulations have been also conducted, showing their ability and limitations to capture the experimentally observed aerofoil behavior.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A009. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63399.

In this investigation, CFD calculations are conducted to evaluate the differences between five-hole pressure probe-determined flow quantities and the unaffected flow quantities without the probe’s intrusive influence. The blockage effect of the probe is described and evaluated. Furthermore, the influence of this effect is used to estimate the error when using measured stator outflows as forcing functions for the following rotor blades.

To compare the flow field, both with and without the probe’s influence, a five-hole pressure probe is traversed numerically at midspan behind each stator row of a 2.5-stage axial compressor. For reproducing the blockage of the probe accurately, the full annulus of the respective stator row has to be modeled. In order to minimize the calculation time, a study to reduce the number of stator passages was successfully performed. To evaluate the flow quantities using the probe, a calibration polynomial is set up numerically. CFD simulations of the probe geometry within a uniform flow field for each pitch and yaw angle, as well as Mach number combination, are performed for this purpose. Moreover, the pressure probe data for the numerical traverses are corrected to account for velocity gradients in the wake region. The comparison of Mach number, with and without the probe’s influence, shows differences both in the width and the depth of the wake. The results of the Fourier-transformed wake profile for both cases are compared and changes in the first harmonic of Mach number of up to −13% identified. Finally, the first harmonic of the flow quantities is used to perform linearized CFD calculations and to evaluate the influence of disturbed forcing functions on the aerodynamic work of the following rotor blade. The average difference in aerodynamic excitation is about −12% with a maximum deviation of more than −30%.

The results presented aim to draw attention to intrusive probe influences and their consequences for validating numerical results against experiments. Special attention is given to the discrepancies of forced response calculations with varying gust boundary conditions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A010. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63454.

Current design-cycle Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes-based CFD methods have the tendency to over-predict corner-stall events for axial-flow compressors operating at off-design conditions. This shortcoming has been demonstrated even in simple single-row cascade configurations [1]. Here we report on the application of hybrid RANS/LES predictions for simulating the corner-stall data from the linear compressor cascade work conducted at Ecole Centrale de Lyon [2][3][4]. This benchmark data set provides detailed loss information while also revealing a bimodal behavior of the separation which, not surprisingly, is also not well modeled by RANS. The hybrid RANS/LES (or DES) results presented here predict bimodal behavior similar to the data only when special treatment is adopted to resolve the leading-edge endwall region where the horseshoe vortex forms. The horseshoe vortex is shown to be unstable, which produces the bimodal instability. The DES simulation without special treatment or refinement in the horseshoe vortex region fails to predict the bimodal instability, and thus the bimodal behavior of the separation. This in turn causes a gross over-prediction in the scale of the corner-stall. The horseshoe vortex region is found to be unstable with rolling of the tertiary vortex over the secondary vortex and merging with the primary horseshoe vortex. With these flow dynamics realized in the DES simulations, the corner stall characteristics are found to be in better agreement with the experimental data, as compared to RANS and standard DES approaches.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A011. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63468.

In the design of an axial compressor, many designers take advantage of this technology and employ contracted shroud. What is its impact on tip leakage flow and overall performance of the axial compressor? What is its mechanism? In this paper, the NASA Rotor67 is taken as a research case, and parameterized study is conducted to investigate the effects of shrouds with different inclined angles. The inclined angles range from 0° to 13°. Based on the above described plan, numerical simulations are conducted to the original rotor67 and its modified versions with inclined shroud. To remove factors that might interfere the results, original Rotor 67 and all the blades with modified shroud should be compared to their optimal design status. Adjoint optimization is used to give the optimum blade corresponding to each shroud with different blade inclined angles.

Then adjoint optimization was used again to give the optimum meridional flowpath for all the cases with different shroud inclined angles. This provides a powerful tool to evaluate the accuracy of the aforementioned prediction. A detailed comparison is made between the original flowpath and the optimized ones.

Numerical results are analyzed in detail between original Rotor67 and its modified versions. The results show that the shroud inclined angle has an effect on the overall performance of the blade. It will also redistribute the velocity triangles and the chordwise distribution of aero load in the tip region. Hence it exerts great influence on the tip leakage flow field in the meantime. Shroud with suitable inclined angles can suppress the developing of leakage vortex , and the best-inclined angle for rotor 67 is found to be roughly 11°.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A012. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63510.

Helium is hard to be compressed with the traditional way of air compression because of thermophysical properties differences between helium and air, which would result in helium compressor being of much more stages and shorter blades. In this paper, based on the flowing features of helium, that is, the higher sound speed, the lower Mach number etc. which are also due to the specific thermophysical properties of helium, the design method of a highly loaded helium compressor is investigated in detail. The relationships between the highly loaded helium compressor flow coefficient, load coefficient, reaction degree and its efficiency and pressure ratio are systematically discussed. Then, to meet the higher efficiency and reliability requirements, unequal spanwise work distribution technique is implemented. The results indicate that a 16 stages helium compressor of a 300MW HTGR can be reduced to a 3 stages compressor by the highly loaded design method proposed in this paper, under the condition of the same tip tangential velocity. The polytropic efficiency is 90%, which is higher than that of the previous 16 stages compressor.

Topics: Compressors , Design , Helium
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A013. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63511.

Helium compressor is a main component of high temperature gas reactor (HTGR) helium power conversion unit, and its performance has significant effects on the power output and cycle efficiency. In this paper, the flow loss analysis of highly loaded axial helium compressor is carried out using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program at both design and off-design point. To understand the loss mechanism of the highly loaded helium compressor, special attention is paid to the tip clearance loss, profile loss and the end wall loss. As is well-known, when increasing the backpressure, the specific power and adverse pressure gradient of general air compressor cascade increase as well. But the specific power and adverse pressure gradient of the highly loaded design helium compressor in this paper will decrease with the backpressure increasing due to the new velocity triangle. So the loss characteristics of the highly loaded helium compressor are different from that of air compressor. From the three-dimensional viscous numerical results, the profile loss is the most important loss source of the highly loaded helium compressor. The proportion of the highly loaded helium compressor profile loss is more than 50%.

Topics: Compressors , Helium
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A014. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63536.

This paper presents an investigation of a circumferential feed-back channel located on shroud surface in rotor domain to find its effects on aerodynamic performance of a single-stage axial compressor, NASA Stage 37, using three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. Validation of numerical results was performed using experimental data for both of single rotor and single-stage compressors. A parametric study of the feed-back channel was performed using various geometric parameters related to the locations and shapes of the channel inlet and outlet. The numerical results showed that a reference circumferential feed-back channel increased the stall margin by 26.8% with 0.14% reduction in the peak adiabatic efficiency, compared to the case without the feed-back channel.

Topics: Compressors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A015. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63590.

This paper majorly aims to identify and understand the driving flow phenomena when the blading aspect ratio of a 1.5-stage axial compressor is increased so that its overall axial length is reduced. The blading is representative for a state-of-the-art high-pressure compressor (HPC) front-stage design. As part of the investigation steady-state RANS simulations are performed to evaluate the impact on its performance and operability. Moreover, an optimized high aspect ratio (HAR) design is introduced to recover performance penalties.

In order to achieve the desired reduction in axial stage length at constant blade row spacing and blade height, numerous possible combinations of increased rotor and stator aspect ratios exist. The impact on compressor efficiency and surge margin will be more or less severe, depending on the chord length reduction in rotor and stator. One intermediate combination of both changes in rotor and corresponding stator aspect ratio is analyzed in detail. The results show that by reducing rotor chord length, the compressor’s stability is predominantly compromised, whereas a shorter stator chord has a bigger impact on efficiency than the rotor. For each HAR configuration, profile loss is increased through a reduced blade chord Reynolds number and a higher profile edge thickness-to-chord ratio. Secondary loss is significantly reduced. However, this effect is extenuated by an increased endwall boundary layer thickness-to-chord ratio. Ultimately, this yields a diminished overall stage efficiency. In general, current HPC blade designs exhibit a lower initial rotor aspect ratio compared to the stator vanes. Consequently, an equivalent stage length reduction has a less crucial impact on Reynolds number — hence profile loss — for rotor blades than for stator vanes. Thus, regarding efficiency, there is an optimum of balancing rotor and stator chord length reduction yielding the least efficiency drop.

On the contrary, the stability margin for the compressor stage analyzed is primarily driven by the rotor’s clearance-to-chord ratio. Hence, at constant tip clearance an increase in the rotor’s aspect ratio is proportional to the resulting lack of stability. However, specific compressor design modifications are introduced in order to recover the stability margin without adversely affecting design point efficiency, such that the optimized HAR compressor stage exhibits at least the same performance specifications of the baseline design.

This study’s findings also encourage that increasing the blading aspect ratio is a feasible measure for reducing the compressor’s overall axial length aiming a compact design. An optimized HAR compressor allows additional design flexibility, which provides potential for performance improvements.

Topics: Compressors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A016. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63673.

CFD is nowadays extensively used for turbomachinery design and performance prediction. Nevertheless, compressors numerical simulations still fail in correctly predicting the stall inception and the post-stall behavior. Several authors address such a lack of accuracy to the incomplete definition of the boundary conditions and of the turbulence parameters at the inlet of the numerical domain. The aim of the present paper is to contribute to the development of compressors CFD by providing a complete set of input data for numerical simulations.

A complete characterization has been carried out for a state-of-art 1.5 stage highly loaded low pressure compressor for which previous CFD analyses have failed to predict its behavior. The experimental campaign has been carried out in the R4 facility at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics. The test item has been tested in different operative conditions for two different speed lines (90% and 96% of the design speed) and for two different Reynolds numbers. Stable and unstable operative conditions have been investigated along with the stalling behavior, its inception and the stall-cell flow field. Discrete hot-wire traverses have been performed in order to characterize the span-wise velocity field and the turbulence characteristics.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A017. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63767.

Lift fans fitted on hovercraft are often subjected to pressure pulse generated by the sea waves. With a high pressure from the pressure pulse, the fan is driven transiently to a low mass flow rate operating point. The probability that a stall can happen is relatively high. The recess vane casing treatment (RVCT) is used to improve the axial lift fan’s stall margin in this paper.

Using the NUMECA software, the fan with solid casing and different RVTC geometry and its flow field are analyzed. The geometry modifications include blade chord exposure variation and cavity outlet axial span. Compared with the solid case, all casing treatments result in a reduction in efficiency. The blade chord exposure is a key factor that affects the efficiency. The RVCT with minimum blade chord exposure provides an inferior stall margin of −0.293% while the others provide 6% to 15% stall margin improvement, respectively.

In the study of the physical flow mechanisms, visualization can provide an insight into the flow field. This reveals that characteristics of the mainstream flow are different between near stall point and design point for the solid casing fan. The three-dimensional (3D) flow field suggests that the flow capacity near the blade tip is damaged by the blockage. The rotor blade is considered as a critical tip based on its stalling behavior. By applying RVCT, the flow field near blade tip is modified, and local mass flow ahead of blade leading edge increases while flow distribution of blade downstream along spanwise is almost the same with the solid casing fan. Also, the flow exchange between RVCT and mainstream is established through the introduction of RVCT. In quantitative analysis, the flow exchange is quantified based on the mass flow passing through the cavity. The ability of RVCT to stabilize the fan is based on the size of cavity, the more mass flow passes through cavity, the more stall margin enhancement can be obtained by the fan. However, the flow exchange between RVCT and mainstream can cause intense mixing, which can lead to efficiency loss.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A018. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63771.

This paper presents a description of Detached Eddy Simulations being carried out on a variable stator vane with a penny-cavity in order to determine the secondary flow phenomena in the main flowpath. Variable stator vanes are common in multi-stage compressors to prevent flow separations on rotor and stator blades at off-design operation points. The bearing of the stators at hub and tip generate unavoidable circular-shaped ring gaps, which are called penny-cavities. The aim of this paper is to determine secondary flow phenomena in variable stator vanes on an annular cascade testbed resulting from the throughflow of the penny-cavities. Reynolds-Averaged-Navier-Stokes simulations and scale resolving Detached-Eddy-Simulations of a variable stator vane with hub penny-cavity were therefore performed using Ansys CFX. The results of these simulations will be compared to corresponding simulations without penny-cavity. The study shows secondary flow phenomena, which are comparable to the interaction of a transverse jet in a free stream. Due to the low momentum ratio of R = 0.5, the jet immediately veers in the direction of the main flow. The typical vortices which develop from a transverse jet in a free stream are identified. The steady RANS simulation shows an asymmetrical counter-rotating vortex pair. A lack of unsteady secondary flow interaction can be seen in the RANS simulations in contrast to the Detached-Eddy-Simulations, which resolve large turbulent scales. Hence an interaction between the counter-rotating vortex pair and the unsteady shear layer vortices in the stator is visible. In the Detached Eddy Simulations the counter-rotating vortex pair is superimposed by the unsteady shear-layer vortices. The vortices produce significant additional mixing losses, which will be shown in detail. By comparing simulations with and without penny-cavity, the penny-cavity losses are quantified. In conclusion, this paper will help design engineers become more aware of the significance of the penny-cavity with variable stator vanes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A019. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63777.

For some axial flow compressors, the compressor stall is a result of the blade tip blockage caused by the complex flows, which include the boundary layer flow separation (BLFS), tip leakage flow (TLF), and shock wave. Owing to the difference of the design rotating speed and aerodynamic load in the axial flow compressor, these complex flows might exist in isolation or occur at the same time in practical application. Aiming at the stall mechanism in the axial flow compressors, a great deal of experimental and numerical investigations have been carried out at the design rotating speed. However, the investigation for off-design rotating speed in the axial flow compressors is seldom. Therefore, a transonic axial flow compressor rotor, which is NASA Rotor67, was chosen to investigate the stall mechanism at 100%, 80% and 60% design rotating speeds with the help of the numerical method. Moreover, the guiding suggestions for selecting the measures of increasing the transonic axial flow compressors stability are presented for the later investigation. The compared results show that the variation tendency of the experimental total performance lines are finely repeated by the numerical results at the three design rotating speeds. The fundamental flow mechanism of the rotor is obtained by analyzing the flow field in the blade passage in details. With the decrease of the rotor mass flow at the three design rotating speeds, the starting position of the tip leakage vortex (TLV) moves to the blade leading edge gradually, and the tip leakage vortex also deviates to the pressure surface of the adjacent blade. The deviated angle, which is the angle between the trajectory of the tip leakage vortex core and rotor rotating axis, for near stall point (NS) are about three degree, five degree and nine degree than that for near peak efficiency point (NPE) at 100%, 80% and 60% design rotating speeds respectively. The blockage resulted from the interaction between the tip leakage vortex and shock wave is the cause of the rotor stall at 100% and 80% design rotating speeds. Besides, the breakdown of the tip leakage vortex and leading edge spilled flow (LESF) occur at 80% design rotating speed. At 60% design rotating speed, the blockage caused by the leading edge spilled flow resulted from the tip leakage vortex is the main cause of bringing about the compressor stall, and the boundary layer flow separation (BLFS) in a small scope appears at the blade tip suction surface near the trailing edge.

Topics: Compressors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A020. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63781.

A promising flow analytical way to offset the respective shortcomings for the experimental measure and numerical simulation methods is presented. First, general topological rules which are applicable to the skin-friction vector lines on the passage surface, to the flow patterns in the cross-section of the cascade as well as on the blade-to-blade surface were deduced for the turbomachinery cascades with/without suction/blowing slots in this paper. Second, the qualitative analysis theory of the differential equation was used to investigate the distribution feature of the flow singular points for the limiting streamlines equation. The topological structure of the flow pattern on the cascade passage surfaces was discussed in detail. Third, the experiment and numerical simulations results for a linear compressor cascade passage with highly-loaded compound-lean slotted blade, which were combined to topologically examine the flow structure with penetrating slot injections through the blade pressure side and suction side. The results showed that the general topological rules are applicable and effective for flow diagnosis in highly-loaded compressor blade passage with slots. Finally, an integrated vortex control model, in which the blade compound-lean effect and the injection flow through the slots were coupled, was presented. The model shows that reasonable slot injection configurations can effectively control the concentrated shedding vortices from the suction surface of a highly-loaded compressor cascades passage, thereby the aerodynamic performance for the blade passage is remarkably improved. The present work provides a novel theoretical analysis method and insights of the flow for the turbine blade passage with cooling structures, aspirated compressor blade passage and other applications with new flow control configurations in turbomachinery field.

Topics: Compressors , Vortices
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A021. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63783.

Tip-jet rotor system has unique potential value in the area of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) or short take-off and landing (STOL) concept aircraft. The main objective of the current work is to investigate the aerodynamic properties of a self-driven fan with tip-jet (SDF_TJ) in hover by numerical experiments. In order to obtain the detailed flow phenomena of SDF_TJ, CFD method is performed, which is conducted by solving three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations using the shear stress transport turbulence model. For the purpose of investigation, the analysis of SDF_TJ performances with different nozzle configurations have been carried out. Current results indicate the conformal tip-jet not only provide the reaction torque, but also augment the fan lift via entraining the main flow above the suction surface of blade. The rotation speed of fan is mainly determined by bleed air parameters and nozzle area, so as to torque self-balance. The total torque produced by jets contains rotor required torque and penalty torque induced by Coriolis force. The blade lift coefficient and the ratio with jet momentum coefficient are influenced by the distance from the nozzle downstream edge to blade trailing. As the lift of SDF_TJ is larger than the thrust generated by jets alone, which could benefit the take-off and landing capability of VTOL concept aircraft.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A022. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63935.

The performance of axial compressor is considerably influenced by secondary flow, like corner separation between wall and blade in a compressor stage. An extensive experimental study of vortex generator (VG) applied on axial compressor was conducted by many scholars, in order to control these effects and improve the aerodynamic performance. According to their size, they are classified as traditional VGs (h/δ>0.5) and Micro-vortex generators (MVGs, h/δ = 0.1∼0.5).MVGs is one of the hot spots of present research to restrain the secondary flow.

In order to investigate the effect of MVGs used in rotor, this study was carried out on Northwestern Polytecnical University rotor (NPU rotor), which is a subsonic axial flow compressor rotor. The Vane-MVGs were placed at a distance of 11% chord length ahead of the leading edge on the end-wall. The characteristic line of 54% (8130RPM), 71% (10792RPM) and 84% (12768RPM) design speed were calculated by steady 3D RANS simulations with Spalart-Allmar turbulence model and compared with the corresponding MVGs cases, respectively. Results show that the stall margins of the 3 speeds with MVGs were larger than baseline, but the efficiency and pressure ratio were reduced in different degrees. In this paper, the flow characteristics at 54% (8130RPM) design speed and the development process of vortex generated by MVGs are analyzed in detail. The influence of MVGs height and stagger angle on rotor performance is also discussed. Moreover, flow simulation of MVGs used on axial compressor single rotor’s hub offered a guideline to future research.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A023. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63948.

The performance of compressor cascade is considerably influenced by secondary flow. An extensive experimental study of vortex generator (VG) applied on axial compressor was conducted by many scholars, in order to control these effects. Particularly, MVG is one of the hot researches in present to restrain secondary flow. On the foundation of research experience finished by the former scholars, a new Curve-micro vortex generator (C-MVG) was proposed in this paper. In order to investigate the effect of C-MVG on secondary flow in low-Mach number cascade, the present was carried out on a high-loaded axial compressor cascade with incoming flow of Ma<0.3. The experiment of baseline was conducted at a low speed (incompressible) cascade wind tunnel. The C-MVGs were placed on the end-wall at a distance of 7% chord length ahead of passage and a pitch distance of 26 mm from the leading edge of suction side. 8 cases with different spacing and θVGs were calculated. The height of all the C-MVGs were 5 mm and each case was comprised of 3 vanes.

At design and stall incidence angle (−1 deg and 8 deg), the total pressure loss coefficient averaged by mass-flow (Loss) in the outlet was analyzed with numerical method of k-omega turbulence model. Different combinations of C-MVGs were compared. Results show that the Loss in 140% axial chord length (Ca) after leading edge was increased on design condition. At 8 deg incidence angle, all cases could delay the inception of separation and decrease loss. The case VGθ3 showed the highest loss reduction benefit of 7.3%, which indicated that C-MVGs could control the large separation area effectively.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A024. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63953.

As a promising active flow control method, boundary layer suction (BLS) can be used to enhance the aerodynamic performance of the highly-loaded compressor effectively, and due to this reason, extensive studies have been carried out on it. However, contrast to those abundant studies focusing on the flow control effects of BLS, little attention has been paid on the design method of the aspiration flow path.

This work presents a 3-D steady numerical simulation on a highly-loaded aspirated compressor cascade. The aspiration slot is implemented at its best location based on the previous experimental studies and the aspiration flow rate is fix to 1.5% of the inlet massflow. The plenum configuration follows the blade shape and remains unchanged. One-side-aspiration manner is adopted to simplify the aspiration devices. Two critical geometry parameters, slot angle and slot width, are varied to study the effects of blade aspiration slot configuration on the cascade loss, radial distribution of the aspiration flow rate and inner flow structures within the aspiration flow path. Results show that the slot configuration does affect the cascade performance. In comparison with the throughflow performance, it is especially true once the flow loss caused by the aspiration flow path is also taken into account, and higher flow loss will be generated within the aspiration flow path if an inappropriate scheme is adopted. In the present investigation, apart from the cases with larger negative slot angle, a wider slot is more preferable to a narrower one, since it could enhance the aspiration capacity near the endwall regions and lower the dissipation loss within the aspiration flow path. In terms of the slot angle, a larger negative value, i.e., the slot direction more aligned with the incoming flow, is not beneficial to improve the throughflow performance, while concerning the flow loss yield by the aspiration flow path, a proper negative slot angle is always optimal.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A025. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63960.

This paper presents the results from the first experimental assessment of herringbone riblets in reducing total pressure losses in a linear cascade of diffuser blades. The experiments were undertaken at Re = 1 × 105, M = 0.13 and a free stream turbulent intensity of 2%. Three cascade configurations were examined at a blade incidence angle of 0.8°; Case A: the baseline case without surface modification; Case B: blades with smooth strips; Case C: blades with ribleted strips. In Case A, flow separation starts at 24.1%c from the blade leading edge followed by a complete stall, resulting in significant total pressure losses as measured by a five-hole probe on a cross-flow plane downstream. Seven smooth or ribleted strips were adhered on the blade suction surfaces along their span in Case B and Case C. In comparison to Case A, the average total pressure loss coefficient is decreased by 6.4% and 16.8% in Case B and Case C, respectively. The velocity vectors leaving the cross-flow measurement plane also appear to be more uniformly distributed with the average flow turning angle being increased by 4° and 10° in Case B and Case C respectively, indicating that the extent of flow separation in the cascade has been reduced substantially. Furthermore, a pseudo sound power analysis of hot-wire data in the blade wake reveals a reduction in the noise level of 1.1dB and 1.6 dB, respectively. These results hence provide strong evidence that a profound aerodynamic improvement can be achieved in a cascade with the use of herringbone riblets.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A026. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64054.

Humpback whale flippers’ scalloped tubercles on the leading edge are thought to enhance the whale’s underwater maneuverability. Inspired by the flippers, leading edge tubercles are applied in a low speed annular compressor cascade as a type of passive flow control techniques in this paper. A numerical study is performed to investigate the influence of tubercles on the aerodynamic losses and corner separation in the low speed cascades.

Different low speed cascades based on a CDA airfoil profile are built with several hub-tip ratios and aspect ratios. Steady RANS simulations are carried out for these cascades with and without leading edge tubercles. The aerodynamic performance and corner separation features are subsequently investigated in these cascades. The influence of tubercles under the variation of hub-tip ratio and aspect ratio is understood and concluded from the comparison of the performance attained by different cascades. Flow visualizations at a post-stall incidence angle show that the interaction between the tubercle-induced streamwise vortices and corner separation vortices plays a crucial role in attenuating the corner separation and reducing losses. By combining the performance analysis and flow visualizations, this paper discusses the mechanism of leading edge tubercles in a low speed annular compressor cascade with different hub-tip ratios and aspect ratios.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A027. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64115.

This study experimentally investigated compressor instability characteristics of two transonic axial compressors. From the stall precursors when their operating points are approaching the stall line, stall initiation and its development and its transition to compressor surge were measured with high frequency pressure transducers, step by step.

First part of this paper describes three-stage transonic axial compressor instability characteristics. The compressor has been designed to have positive incidence angle in order from third stage to first stage as compressor outlet throttle valve closes at the design speed. Then periodic modal signal appeared from the third stage before it spread toward the first stage as a precursor of the compressor stall. However, the actual compressor stall took place from the first stage and developed toward the third stage. Interestingly, the stall cell spread toward downstream by spiral direction, which means stall cell moves with axial and circumferential velocity components. When the stall cell reached the collector through the third stage, sudden strong one-dimensional fluctuation, system surge, appeared. Then operating point revolved along the hysteresis loop on the compressor map repeatedly before anti-surge valve opened.

Second part of this paper describes a single stage transonic compressor instability characteristics. Different from the three-stage compressor, spike type stall precursor was detected just ahead of rotating stall cell appearance. Before spike initiation there was no warning signal of compressor stall. When the spike was fully developed to the rotating stall, the operating points deviated from the operating line and settled at deteriorated operating points until the anti-surge valve opened. Also a weak compressor system Helmholtz frequency was detected regardless of the rotating speed.

To identify the overall compressor instability behavior and difference between two axial compressors, Greizter’s B parameter was found to be very useful. B parameter of the three stage compressor was about 0.83, it means classic surge could occur at the final stage of instability. On the other hand, B parameter of the single stage compressor was 0.62. According to this B parameter, the single stage compressor stall would no longer develop to compressor surge and it well agrees with experimental results.

Topics: Compressors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A028. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64144.

The design and numerical analysis of a two-stage, highly-loaded aspirated counter-rotating compressor is presented in the current paper. Compared with the conventional counter-rotating compressor (CRC), the CRC designed in this study included the stator downstream of each rotor. The stator in the counter-rotating compressor was used for enabling static pressure rise and turning the flow towards the axial direction which would decrease inlet relative velocity and inlet flow angle respectively in the following stage. With the low-reaction design concept in combination with boundary layer suction, the two-stage counter-rotating compressor produced a total pressure ratio of 5.99 at an adiabatic efficiency of 88.15%(η1), 85.35%(η2) by aspiration only implemented on the stators. The primary intent of this unconventional design was to mitigate the complexity of the bleed system design, eliminate the adverse effects of aspiration on the blade strength in the rotating parts and finally improve the structural stability of the compressor under the premise of achieving a high-load design. The tip speed of the two rotors was 370m/s and 377.5m/s, respectively at the design rotational speeds. The design aspiration requirement for the configuration reached 22.25% of the inlet mass flow. Detail design parameters, flow characteristics and aerodynamic performance were presented and discussed. The results show that the low-reaction design methodology based on an increase in rotor exit axial velocity was feasible and the integration between low-reaction design method, aspiration and counter-rotating technology could substantially improve the stage loading coefficient meanwhile a high efficiency could be achieved.

Topics: Compressors , Stress , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A029. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64202.

In order to diminish the flow loss in the ram-rotor and improve its aerodynamic performance, the effect of forward and backward swept leading edge on flow field and shock pattern in the ram-rotor was investigated using 3-dimensional steady CFD. Ram-rotors with sweeping angles of −60°, −30°, −15°, 0°, 15°, 30°, 60° were modeled, and ram-rotor performance, shock pattern and leakage flow in different swept schemes were the main focuses of attention. The effect of sweeping angle was also discussed in this paper. It has been found that forward sweep makes performance curves move to high mass flow rate zone in the performance map. Meanwhile, strake tip loading decreases, and maximum adiabatic efficiency increases by 0.31% compared to baseline ram-rotor. Contrary to the forward swept scheme, performance curves of backward sweep schemes shift to small mass flow rate zone, and the tip leakage near front part of strake is enhanced. Backward sweep plays a positive role in improving pressure ratio with a maximum increment of 0.46% at peak efficiency point, but causes a high flow loss. As sweeping angle changes, there is an optimum angle value to get a high performance.

Topics: Rotors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A030. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64286.

Large eddy simulations of tandem blade compressor cascades have been performed with an explicit filtering method. A low speed case was simulated using the public domain code Incompact3d which solves incompressible flow with an immersed boundary method for embedded solid bodies, obviating the effort expended on preparing good quality meshes around blading. The LES successfully captures transition on the front blade and yields a significantly different loading compared with RANS solutions obtained before. The less substantial impact on the rear blade is traced to rapid transition forced by the turbulent wake of the front blade. LES with a refined grid was found to shorten the transition width due to the crucial role of small scales during transition. A complementary study with an in-house compressible LES solver was conducted for a transonic tandem cascade at the inlet Mach number of 0.89. Flow expands around the leading edge of the front blade and is terminated by a shock which interacts with the suction surface boundary layer. The beneficial effect of tandem blading was found to be achieved by limiting this separation. The shock-induced separation also marks a rapid transition of the suction surface boundary layer that is readily captured in the LES, showing pre-transitional streaks, but could prove difficult even for current transition-sensitive RANS.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A031. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64292.

It is well known that an axial compressor cascade will exhibit variation in loss coefficient, described as a loss bucket, when run over a sweep of incidences, and that higher levels of free stream turbulence are likely to suppress separation bubbles and cause earlier transition (see e.g. [23]). However, it remains difficult to achieve accurate quantitative prediction of these changes using numerical simulation, particularly at off-design conditions, without the added computational expense of using eddy-resolving techniques. The aim of the present study is to investigate profile losses in an axial compressor under such conditions using wall-resolved Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and RANS. The work extends on previous work by Leggett et al.[11] with the intention of furthering our understanding of loss prediction tools and improving our quantification of the physical processes involved in loss generation. The results show that while RANS predicts losses with good accuracy the breakdown of these losses are attributed to different processes, meaning that optimisation of a compressor cascade profile, based solely on RANS, may be hard to achieve.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A032. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64400.

On the flow instability caused by large scale boundary-layer flow separation in highly loaded compressor/fan blade passage, a novel bifurcate compressor blade is designed based on pressure gradient control idea for blade passage flow, and a distinctive variable solidity bifurcate blade concept and three-dimensional blade design technology are integrated to achieve this design idea in this paper.

The quantitative flow information for the bifurcate blade passage is obtained by numerical simulation method to investigate the separation flow structure and dynamic mechanism near the wall and in the wake flow area. Besides, the complex influence of vortex structure evolution and the dynamic mechanism of low energy fluid redistribution being controlled in boundary-layer flow area would be revealed by applying the vorticity dynamics theory. The variable law of design parameters is explored in order to decrease aerodynamic loss, to delay flow separation near the wall and corner for the blade surface, to restructure blade aerodynamic loading, to form gentle pressure gradient and to diminish wake flow loss.

The results indicate that although extra aerodynamic loss is generated by the geometric mutation of bifurcate segment, the bifurcate blade effectively restrains the migration of high-entropy secondary flow fluid in the shroud corner area, thus substantially decreasing the loss near endwall/corner, which remarkably promotes the aerodynamic performance, particularly under the condition of positive incidence angle. Moreover, the bifurcate blade skillfully remolds the pressure gradient on the blade surface, and promotes total pressure as well as velocity for the wake area that would be beneficial for the downstream rotor blade. With the introduction of key physical concepts and flow parameters of vortex/vorticity dynamics, such as boundary vorticity flux, vorticity vector, skin-friction vector and tangential pressure gradient, the physical root source and mechanism of gentle pressure gradient formation, wake flow structure being weakened, and flow separation reduction for the endwall and corner are further revealed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A033. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64403.

During engine operation fan casing abradable liners are worn by the blade tip, resulting in the formation of trenches. This paper investigates the influence of these trenches on the fan blade tip aerodynamics. A detailed understanding of the tip flow features for the fan blade under investigation is developed. A parametric model is then used to model trenches in the casing above the blade tip. It is shown that increasing clearance via a trench reduces performance by less than increasing clearance through cropping the blade tip. A response surface method is then used to generate a model that can predict fan efficiency for a given set of clearance and trench parameters. It is shown that the efficiency sensitivity to clearance is greater for cropped tips than trenches, and is biased towards the leading edge for cropped tips, and the trailing edge for trenches.

Topics: Aerodynamics , Blades
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A034. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64528.

Turbomachinery active subspace performance maps are 2D contour plots that illustrate the variation of key flow performance metrics with different blade designs. While such maps are easy to construct for design parameterizations with two variables, in this paper maps will be generated for a fan blade with twenty-five design variables. Turbomachinery active subspace performance maps combine active subspaces — a new set of ideas for dimension reduction — with fundamental turbomachinery aerodynamics and design spaces. In this paper, contours of (i) cruise efficiency, (ii) cruise pressure ratio, (iii) maximum climb flow capacity and (iv) sensitivity to manufacturing variations, are plotted as objectives for the fan. These maps are then used to infer pedigree design rules: how best to increase fan efficiency; how best to desensitize blade aerodynamics to the impact of manufacturing variations? In the present study, the former required both a reduction in pressure ratio and flow capacity — leading to a reduction of the strength of the leading edge bow wave — while the latter required strictly a reduction in flow capacity. While such pedigree rules can be obtained from first principles, in this paper these rules are derived from the active subspaces. This facilitates a more detailed quantification of the aerodynamic trade-offs. Thus, instead of simply stating that a particular design is more sensitive to manufacturing variations; or that it lies on a hypothetical ‘efficiency cliff’, this paper seeks to visualize, quantify and make precise such notions of turbomachinery design.

Topics: Turbomachinery
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A035. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64533.

Delaying breakdown of the flow in the tip region of a tip-critical compressor rotor as long as possible, i.e. improving the surge margin, is of great interest to the turbomachinery community and is the focus of this study. The surge margin of ten compressor rotors is evaluated numerically, each with different blade loading and geometry at the tip. Previous work in the field has shown the dependence of an interface in the tip region of a compressor rotor between the incoming flow and the tip clearance flow with the passage flow coefficient ϕ. Previous work in the field has also shown that a higher incoming meridional momentum in the tip region can be beneficial to the surge margin of a tip-critical rotor. The present study generalizes these findings by taking into account the local blade loading of the rotor tip section and the level of loss in the tip region. The surge margin is found to improve if the blade loading of the rotor tip section is increased, which acts to increase the incoming mass flow rate and improve the surge margin provided that an increase in loss, mainly related to the strength and direction of the tip clearance flow, does not negate the effect as the compressor is throttled. Two quantities are proposed as objective functions to be used for optimization to achieve a compressor rotor with high surge margin based on the flow field at the design point. Finally, an optimization and analysis of the results is made to demonstrate the proposed objective functions in practise.

Topics: Compressors , Rotors , Surges
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A036. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64585.

This work presents the latest results of aeromechanical design of two large-scale fan model stages (Dr = 700 mm) for low-noise high-performance single-stage fan prototypes designed for advanced civil aircraft geared and direct-driven turbofans with reduced and ultra-low rotor tip speeds, high specific capacity, and high bypass ratios. They are designed with account of all features of blades made of polymer composite materials (PCM) or titanium alloy. Metal and composite blades have a similar shape in hot state at the design point. The stages are intended for tests in the anechoic chamber of the CIAM’s C-3A special acoustic test facility with the aim of verification new optimal design methods for similar fans to achieve maximum performance.

Performances of the fans and parameters of viscous steady flows are calculated. The calculations show that both fan models can provide a high specific capacity along with a high efficiency and sufficient stall margins. For example, calculated max. efficiency level of the bypass duct in the geared model fan with ultra-low tip speed (Ucor. = 313.4 m/s) is equal to 94%.

Data measured by tests of an ungeared bypass fan model with solid metal rotor blades developed earlier by the authors are used for the mathematical model verification. Tip speed of rotor blades at the design point is Ucor. = 400m/s, bypass ratio — m = 8.4. Four booster stages are installed in the core duct. From first test results it is clear that required values of key parameters are achieved. Comparison of measured and calculated data gives evidence of their good agreement. At present, detailed tests of this fan and a similar fan with 3 booster stages are under way in the anechoic chamber of the CIAM’s C-3A acoustic test facility.

The new direct-driven fan model described in this paper has quite different design values of parameters, geometry of the meridian contours, and shapes of outer and inner ducts. Tip speed of its rotor blades is reduced by 30 m/s, the hub diameter is decreased, and bypass ratio is higher (m = 11).

In the near future, these two new models of non-geared and geared fans can be manufactured and tested.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A037. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64874.

This paper presents a procedure for experimentally optimizing a multistage axial compressor. Due to the usual proprietary nature of such tests, a mean-line model of a nine-stage compressor with three rows of variable geometry is used instead of a real machine as a testbed for explaining the optimization method. The compressor is optimized to achieve design-intent corrected flow and pressure ratio while achieving acceptable efficiency and stage matching. The optimization is performed using a response surface methodology that leverages a full factorial design of experiments approach. The resulting empirical models of compressor performance are of high quality, with coefficients of determination exceeding 0.99. An important finding of the work is that stage interactions are important for modeling both efficiency and stage matching, much more than for corrected flow and pressure ratio. Additionally the empirical equations resulting from the design of experiments analysis provide sensitivities due to changes in the variable geometry. These sensitivities can be applied to understanding the impact of uncertainties related to rigging the variable geometry and for assessing potential new or upgraded compressor designs.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A038. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64956.

This paper presents the experimental results of an advanced concept transonic compressor stage with a splittered rotor and a downstream variable geometry tandem stator. Two blisks make up the stator, with the first containing the upstream blades and the second the downstream. The downstream row is fixed while the upstream row is able to rotate about the machine axis. This was found to be a very simple and robust method of adjusting the geometry as it had only one moving part in contrast to the complex mechanisms required to move individual blades within a traditional row. Five different relative positions between the forward and aft blade rows were experimentally investigated in order to find the ideal stator positions for different operating conditions of an engine. It was found that the peak efficiency, maximum flow rate and maximum flow range of the entire stage could be adjusted by moving the single upstream stator blisk. This variable tandem stator configuration could thus eliminate the need for inlet guide vanes (IGV’s) with variable flaps in the first compressor stage, which are typically found in many military engines. This removal of a blade row could lead to lighter and less complex engine. The variable stator concept may also be applicable to the high pressure stages during startup where a high mass flow rate would reduce the need for bleed systems. Results over a wide speed range from subsonic to transonic are presented and the geometry is available upon request as a test case.

Topics: Rotors , Geometry , Stators
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A039. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64964.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been widely used for compressor design, yet the prediction of performance and stage matching for multi-stage, high-speed machines remain challenging. This paper presents the authors’ effort to improve the reliability of CFD in multistage compressor simulations. The endwall features (e.g. blade fillet and shape of the platform edge) are meshed with minimal approximations. Turbulence models with linear and non-linear eddy viscosity models are assessed. The non-linear eddy viscosity model predicts a higher production of turbulent kinetic energy in the passages, especially close to the endwall region. This results in a more accurate prediction of the choked mass flow and the shape of total pressure profiles close to the hub. The non-linear viscosity model generally shows an improvement on its linear counterparts based on the comparisons with the rig data. For geometrical details, truncated fillet leads to thicker boundary layer on the fillet and reduced mass flow and efficiency. Shroud cavities are found to be essential to predict the right blockage and the flow details close to the hub. At the part speed the computations without the shroud cavities fail to predict the major flow features in the passage and this leads to inaccurate predictions of massflow and shapes of the compressor characteristic. The paper demonstrates that an accurate representation of the endwall geometry and an effective turbulence model, together with a good quality and sufficiently refined grid result in a credible prediction of compressor matching and performance with steady state mixing planes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A040. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65099.

The effects of axial casing grooves on the performance and flow structures in the tip region of an axial low speed fan rotor have been studied experimentally in the JHU refractive index-matched liquid facility. The four-per-passage semicircular grooves are skewed by 45° in the positive circumferential direction, and have a diameter of 65% of the rotor blade axial chord length. A third of the groove overlaps with the blade front, and the rest extends upstream. These grooves have a dramatic effect on the machine performance, reducing the stall flow rate by 40% compared to the same machine with a smooth endwall. However, they reduce the pressure rise at high flow rates. The flow characterization consists of qualitative visualizations of vortical structures using cavitation, as well as stereo-PIV (SPIV) measurements in several meridional and (z,θ) planes covering the tip region and interior of the casing grooves. The experiments are performed at a flow rate corresponding to pre-stall conditions for the untreated machine. They show that the flow into the downstream sides of the grooves and the outflow from their upstream sides vary periodically. The inflow peaks when the downstream end is aligned with the pressure side (PS) of the blade, and decreases, but does not vanish, when this end is located near the suction side (SS). These periodic variations have three primary effects: First, substantial fractions of the leakage flow and the tip leakage vortex (TLV) are entrained periodically into the groove. Consequently, in contrast to the untreated flow, The TLV remnants remain confined to the vicinity of the entrance to the groove, and the TLV strength diminishes starting from the mid-chord. Second, the grooves prevent the formation of large scale backflow vortices (BFVs), which are associated with the TLV, propagate from one blade passage to the next, and play a key role in the onset of rotating stall in the untreated fan. Third, the flow exiting from the grooves causes periodic variations of about 10° in the relative flow angle around the blade leading edge, presumably affecting the blade loading. The distributions of turbulent kinetic energy provide statistical evidence that in contrast to the untreated casing, very little turbulence originating from a previous TLV, including the BFVs, propagates from the PS to the SS of the blade. Hence, the TLV-related turbulence remain confined to the entrance to groove. Elevated, but lower turbulence is also generated as the outflow from the groove jets into the passage.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A041. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65114.

Modeling of turbulent flows in axial turbomachines is challenging due to the high spatial and temporal variability in the distribution of the strain rate components, especially in the tip region of rotor blades. High-resolution stereo PIV measurements performed in a refractive index matched facility in a series of closely-spaced planes provide a comprehensive database for determining all the terms in the Reynolds stress and strain rate tensors. Results are also used for calculating the turbulent kinetic energy production rate and transport terms by mean flow and turbulence. They elucidate some but not all of the observed phenomena, such as the high anisotropy, high turbulence levels in the vicinity of the tip leakage vortex (TLV) center, and in the shear layer connecting it to the blade suction side (SS) tip corner. The applicability of popular Reynolds stress models based on eddy-viscosity is also evaluated by calculating it from the ratio between stress and strain components. Results vary substantially, depending on which components are involved, ranging from very large positive to negative values. In some areas, e.g., in the tip gap and around the TLV, the local stresses and strains do not appear to be correlated at all. In terms of effect on the mean flow, for most of the tip region, the mean advection terms are much higher than the Reynolds stress spatial gradients, i.e., the flow dynamics is dominated by pressure-driven transport. However, they are of similar magnitude in the shear layer, where modeling would be particularly challenging.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A042. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65139.

New rotor blades are to be fabricated for the 24 foot diameter, 3-stage axial compressor which provides airflow in the 11- by 11-Foot Transonic Wind Tunnel Facility at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. This presents an opportunity to increase the peak Mach number capability of the tunnel by redesigning the compressor for increased pressure ratio. Simulations of the existing compressor from the APNASA CFD code were compared to performance predictions from the HT0300 turbomachinery design code and to compressor performance data taken during a 1997 facility checkout test. It was found that the existing compressor is operating beyond the stability limits predicted by the analysis tools. Additionally, CFD simulations were sensitive to endwall leakages associated with stator button gaps and under-stator-platform flow recirculation. When stator button leakage and cavity recirculation were modeled, pressure rise at design point increased by over 25% due to a large reduction in aerodynamic blockage at the hub. After improving the CFD model and validating the tools against test data, a new design is proposed which achieved 10.5% increased total pressure rise and substantially reduced diffusion factors.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A043. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65158.

Hub corner is the high-loss area in the blade passages of turbo machinery. It is well known that the flow separation and vortex development in this area affects directly not only the energy losses and efficiency, but also the stability of axial compressors. Linear compressor cascades with partial gaps and trailing gaps which can blow away the corner separation by the pressure difference between the suction surface and pressure surface are numerically simulated in this paper. A proposed linear cascade model with gaps has been built. The steady flow field in a linear cascade with different length gaps is studied by numerical simulation of RANS with SST turbulence model and γ-Reθ transition model focusing on the streamline structure between the corner separation vortex and the gap leakage vortex, especially the interaction of the two vertical vortex. When the length of trailing edge gaps is enough (in this paper, the optimal length of the gap is 30% chord), the corner vortex basically disappears completely. At the same time, the mode of flow field changes from the closed separation to the open separation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A044. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65192.

The loss-generating mechanism of a linear compressor cascade at the corner stall condition was numerically studied in this paper. The hybrid RANS/LES method was used to perform the high-fidelity simulations. By comparing the results captured by SSTDES, DDES, SAS models with the experimental data, the SSTDES model is proven to be more accurate in capturing the detailed flow structure of the corner stall than the other two models. Taking the turbulence dissipation term of SSTDES model into account, the volumetric entropy generation rate and a new dimensionless local loss coefficient are proposed and used to analyze the loss-generating mechanism in this work. It was found that the main flow loss generated in this cascade could be sorted as the wake flow loss, the profile loss, the secondary flow loss and the endwall loss according to their amounts. The corner separation significantly affects the secondary flow loss, wake flow loss and profile loss in the cascade passage. The mixing between the separated boundary layer flow and the main flow, the shear between a tornado vortex and the main flow are the main sources of the secondary flow loss. The wake flow loss is the largest loss source of the cascade, accounting for 41.8% of the total loss. There are two peaks of the wake flow loss along the spanwise direction near the corner stall region. This phenomenon is related to the appearance of large velocity gradient flows when the main flows and the corner separation flows mix together. The profile loss takes up 40.06 % of the total loss. The profile loss intensity in the corner region is lower than the mid blade span due to the interaction of the boundary layer on the suction side with the corner separation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A045. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65226.

Casing treatments (CTs) have been proved to beneficially affect the behavior of tip clearance flow and compressor stability. This paper presents the design of casing treatment for a mixed-flow compressor with a very small tip gap of 0.1mm. In the first part, the potential of applying two traditional types of casing treatments, i.e. circumferential grooves and axial slots, to enhance the stability of a mixed-flow compressor is investigated. The flow details in the reference compressor with smooth casing are examined first. It is found that a separating vortex is formed due to the reversed flow on the blade suction side near the rotor trailing edge at the near-stall point. It is supposed to be responsible for the decrease in total pressure ratio when the compressor approaches to stall. The numerical stall, i.e. the breakdown of the simulation, is initiated from the spillage of tip leakage flow over the rotor blade leading edge. The effect of circumferential grooves on the compressor performances is not remarkable. The implement of axial slots ameliorates the total pressure ratio and extend the flow range substantially, but with higher efficiency penalty than the circumferential grooves. The recirculation formed in the axial skewed slots eliminates the separation vortex near the trailing edge and suppresses the spillage of the tip leakage flow forward the rotor leading edge simultaneously. The axial skewed slots are further designed and optimized numerically by DoE (Design of Experiments). As DoE factors the axial length, the height, the open area ratio, and the number per blade passage of the slots are varied. Their effects on the two target values stall margin and polytropic efficiency are investigated. The plot of stall margin improvement (SMI) with a function of the peak efficiency improvement (PEI) indicates that the SMI changes reversely with the PE. There are two trends in the correlation curves of SMI with PE. For the configurations with the open area ratio of 20%, the SMI is changed from 9% to 23% with 1% decrease in PE by varying other three factors. For the CTs with the open area ratio of 60% the augment in SMI from 17.8% to 26.3% produces extra efficiency loss of 4.2%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT39A046. doi:10.1115/GT2017-65257.

This paper presents the findings of an ongoing CFD study of using protruding studs as a form of casing treatment on a transonic turbofan stage. Simulations have been performed on the subject turbomachine with and without the casing treatment in order to validate computations with available experimental results and to compute any difference in performance. The results of the simulations with the casing treatment suggest that protruding studs have the potential to extend the stall margin of the turbofan while resulting in a slight reduction in pressure rise and efficiency. From the use of an initial configuration of studs, the computed increase in stall margin based on mass flow rate was 5.46%, and the greatest decrease in pressure ratio and adiabatic efficiency were 0.25% and 1.59%, respectively. Flowfield visualizations of simulations at computed near-stall conditions without casing treatment show regions of low momentum flow near the casing in the rotor blade passage, and low momentum regions near the hub in the stator section. Visualization from simulations with casing treatment at computed near-stall conditions show a large blockage imposed by the studs in the rotor blade passage, and a low momentum region near the casing in the stator section. Computed performance maps obtained from using other configurations of studs suggest that further increase in stall margin is possible at other levels of protrusion of the studs.

Topics: Testing , Turbofans
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Axial Flow Turbine Aerodynamics

2017;():V02AT40A001. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63079.

The effect of inflow turbulence intensity and turbulence length scales have been studied for a linear high-pressure turbine vane cascade at Reis = 590,000 and Mis = 0.93, using highly resolved compressible large-eddy simulations employing the WALE turbulence model. The turbulence intensity was varied between 6% and 20% while values of the turbulence length scales were prescribed between 5% and 20% of axial chord. The analysis focused on characterizing the inlet turbulence and quantifying the effect of the inlet turbulence variations on the vane boundary layers, in particular on the heat flux to the blade. The transition location on the suction side of the vane was found to be highly sensitive to both turbulence intensity and length scale, with the case with turbulence intensity 20% and 20% length scale showing by far the earliest onset of transition and much higher levels of heat flux over the entire vane. It was also found that the transition process was highly intermittent and local, with spanwise parts of the suction side surface of the vane remaining laminar all the way to the trailing edge even for high turbulence intensity cases.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A002. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63081.

In this contribution, a Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) analysis was carried out, to get detailed information about the unsteady flow behavior and loss generation in a turbine cascade at moderate Reynolds numbers. A comprehensive comparison study with experimental data was conducted to validate the LES results. Compared to Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) results, the LES shows a much better agreement with the measured values of the profile loss coefficient, downstream velocity profile, and blade pressure distribution. The unsteady separation and reattachment process was covered well by the LES approach. The power spectral density (PSD) profiles at several positions of the downstream wake were compared and analyzed. Although the results of the LES show mainly a good agreement with the experimental values, there are still some deviations at high frequency. In summery the present case study indicates the high potential of LES especially in case of moderate Reynolds numbers with flow separation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A003. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63083.

In the open literature, an innovative concept for turbine blade tip leakage loss reduction by means of passive tip injection was recently proposed. The present paper presents experimental results obtained for an unshrouded turbine blade corresponding to a 50 % reaction stage. The experiments were performed in a low-speed linear cascade wind tunnel facility with air as working fluid. The effect of passive tip injection on the resulting loss was investigated by detailed five-hole-probe measurements. Cascades with three different tip gap heights and blades with and without passive injection were considered. Special attention was spent to the actual upstream conditions. The detailed flow field measurements showed that at the blade tip exit the leakage flow merged with the main flow and rolled up to a tip leakage vortex. The linear cascade wind tunnel results indicated a slight reduction of the resulting total pressure loss coefficient due to the passive tip injection. The observed tip leakage loss reduction was well comparable with the predictions of simplified analytical model.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A004. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63220.

A zero inlet swirl turbine rotor (ZISTR) is originally presented as the first stage in a multistage vaneless counter-rotating turbine (MVCT), which only consists of 4 rotors without any vanes. The vanes upstream of a ZISTR are removed to reduce the turbine weight and length, as well as the viscous losses and coolants associated with vanes. However, due to the lack of inlet swirl the stagger angles for ZISTR blade profiles are high and the blade deflections are very small, resulting in almost straight cambers and very thin airfoils. The motivation of this paper is to reveal the overall performance and key loss sources of a ZISTR associated with its special blade profile, and provide corresponding optimization approaches for its practical usages. The 3D viscous numerical results show that the wake, the suction side trailing edge shock and the tip leakage flow have substantial influence on the rotor performance. To optimize the performance of a ZISTR, reducing blade solidity is proposed to decrease the viscous and shock losses by increasing the portion of the inviscid mainstream. Leaned blade is also presented to restrict the tip leakage flow by adjusting the axial position of stagnation points on the blade profile, obtaining an increase in efficiency of 0.9%. The off-design performance of the optimized rotor is also presented to show the effect of the blade lean on efficiency at various rotating speeds and back pressures.

Topics: Rotors , Turbines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A005. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63359.

This paper presents a numerical investigation of the impact of different part-span connector (PSC) configurations on the flow field in a turbine passage. For this purpose a linear cascade based on a profile section of a typical reaction blade used in industrial steam turbines was modeled and 3D simulations with varying size, shape, axial position and yaw incidence angle of the PSC were performed. Air modeled as ideal gas was chosen as the working fluid.

Apart from a sensitivity study of the above mentioned parameters on the losses incurred by PSCs based on the numerical results, a detailed investigation of the flow field was carried out to highlight the interaction with the incoming flow. Moreover, the variation of the flow field behind the cascade was examined to assess the impact on the subsequent blade row. It is shown that depending on the geometry and the position of the PSC, different vortex structures are established in the wakes. These wakes interact with the main flow in the passage, thus influencing both dissipation and the downstream flow field. Major changes of the wake flow character and extent could be observed.

Comparisons of the CFD results against commonly used analytical loss correlations for PSC revealed large differences, especially as certain parameters such as the yaw incidence angle are generally not considered by the latter. As a consequence, the analytical models need to be improved and extended. The results of this study indicate that the possibility of reducing the losses incurred by PSC by careful selection of design parameters within the design space dictated by its mechanical constraints.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A006. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63407.

Blade-to-blade interactions in a low-pressure turbine were investigated using highly resolved compressible large eddy simulations. For a realistic setup, a stator and rotor configuration with profiles typical of low-pressure turbines was used. Simulations were conducted with an in-house solver varying the gap size between stator and rotor from 21.5% to 43% rotor chord. To investigate the effect of the gap size on the prevailing loss mechanisms, a loss breakdown was conducted. It was found that in the large gap size case, the turbulence kinetic energy levels of the stator wake close to the rotor leading edge were only one third of those in the small gap case, due to the longer distance of constant area mixing. The small time averaged suction side separation on the blade, found in the large gap case, disappeared in the small gap calculations, confirming how stronger wakes can keep the boundary layer attached. The higher intensity wake impinging on the blade, however, did not affect the time averaged losses calculated using the control volume approach of Denton. On the other hand, losses computed by taking cross sections upstream and downstream of the blade revealed a greater distortion loss generated by the stator wakes in the small gap case. Despite the suction side separation suppression, the small gap case gave higher losses overall due to the incoming wake turbulent kinetic energy amplification along the blade passage.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A007. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63471.

The measured loss characteristic in a high-speed cascade tunnel of two turbine blades of different designs showed distinctly different trend with exit Mach number ranging from 0.8 to 1.4. Assessments using steady RANS computation of the flow in the two turbine blades, complemented with control volume analyses and loss modelling, elucidate why the measured loss characteristic looks the way it is. The loss model categorizes the total loss in terms of boundary layer loss, trailing edge loss and shock loss; it yields results in good agreement with the experimental data as well as steady RANS computed results. Thus RANS is an adequate tool for determining the loss variations with exit isentropic Mach number and the loss model serves as an effective tool to interpret both the computational and experimental data. The measured loss plateau in Blade 1 for exit Mach number of 1 to 1.4 is due to a balance between a decrease of blade surface boundary layer loss and an increase in the attendant shock loss with Mach number; this plateau is absent in Blade 2 due to a greater rate in shock loss increase than the corresponding decrease in boundary layer loss. For exit Mach number from 0.85 to 1, the higher loss associated with shock system in Blade 1 is due to the larger divergent angle downstream of the throat than that in Blade 2. However when exit Mach number is between 1.00 and 1.30, Blade 2 has higher shock loss. For exit Mach number above around 1.4, the shock loss for the two blades is similar as the flow downstream of the throat is completely supersonic. In the transonic to supersonic flow regime, the turbine design can be tailored to yield a shock pattern the loss of which can be mitigated in near equal amount of that from the boundary layer with increasing exit Mach number, hence yielding a loss plateau in transonic-supersonic regime.

Topics: Turbines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A008. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63490.

One of the challenges of integrating pressure gain combustion into a gas turbine engine is that a turbine driven by pulsing flow experiences a decrease in efficiency. Computational fluid dynamic simulations validated with experiments showed that pulse amplitude is the driving factor for decreased turbine efficiency and not the pulsing frequency. A quadratic correlation between turbine efficiency and corrected pulse amplitude is presented. Incidence variation is shown to cause the change in turbine efficiency and a correlation between corrected incidence and corrected amplitude is shown to predict turbine efficiency.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A009. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63521.

This paper compares the aerodynamic performance of two cascade designs, viz.: - constant-chord and varying-chord. The varying-chord design is typical of industrial gas turbines and steam turbine stators in order to reduce manufacturing costs. The present study aims to increase the understanding of the implications of this manufacturing constraint on the aerodynamics of the stator. Experiments are carried out in a linear cascade wind tunnel. Numerical simulations are performed using commercial code CFX. The profile losses and secondary losses in the two designs are compared. The overall total pressure losses indicate better aerodynamic performance of a turbine cascade with constant chord as compared to a turbine cascade of varying-chord design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A010. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63524.

An investigation of thermal effects on bypass transition was conducted on the highly-loaded turbine guide vane LS89 in the short-duration isentropic Compression Tube (CT-2) facility at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI).

Measurements from high response surface-mounted thin films coupled with analog circuits provided the time-resolved wall heat flux history whereas pneumatic probes, differential pressure transducers and thermocouples allowed the accurate definition of the inlet and outlet flow conditions.

The gas-to-wall temperature ratio, ranging from 1.11 to 1.55, was varied by changing the inlet total temperature. The isentropic exit Mach number ranged from 0.90 to 1.00 and the global freestream turbulence intensity value was set at 0.8, 3.9 and 5.3%. The isentropic exit Reynolds number was kept at 106.

The onset of transition was tracked through the wall heat flux signal fluctuations. Within the present operating conditions, no significant effect of the gas/wall temperature ratio was put in evidence. At the present (design) transonic exit conditions, the local free-stream pressure gradient appears to remain the main driver of the onset of transition. A wider range of operating conditions must be considered to draw final conclusions.

Topics: Temperature
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A011. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63575.

Tangential endwall contouring is intended to improve the blading efficiency in turbomachinery. The present paper focusses on the influence of leakage flows on the performance of non-axisymmetric endwall contouring.

All tests were conducted on a 2 stage axial turbine test rig at the Institute of Power Plant Technology, Steam and Gas Turbines (IKDG) of RWTH Aachen University. The test rig is driven with air. Two sealing setups are applied to create two different leakage mass flows. Four operating points are investigated that represent the design point as well as over load and part load conditions.

The endwall contouring is applied on both hub and casing sides. Three configurations are compared. A baseline design without endwall contouring, contoured stator vanes and non-contoured rotor blades as well as contoured vanes and blades.

At first, all configurations are investigated with a negligible leakage flow rate at the casing side. The results show that the vane contoured configuration performs best in stage 1 while the fully contoured set-up loses in efficiency for the design point and in part load compared to baseline. This trend is flipped in stage 2 as the full contoured version performs best and the vane contoured configuration loses significantly. This finding is suggesting that endwall contouring has the potential to increase the efficiency.

The second focus is put on the interaction of endwall contouring and leakage flow. These investigations show that neither the vane contoured nor the fully contoured set up show an increased efficiency at any operating point. The trends within the first stage are similar to the measurements with the low amount of leakage flow. In the second stage both contouring designs perform worse than the baseline leading to the assumption that the change in efficiency is mainly caused by the re-entering leakage mass flow upstream the contouring and not by the flow that is sucked into the cavities in front of the rotor contouring.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A012. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63606.

This paper deals with the influence of high-pressure turbine purge flows on the aerodynamic performance of turbine center frames. Measurements were carried out in a product-representative one and a half stage turbine test setup, installed in the Transonic Test Turbine Facility at Graz University of Technology. The rig allows testing at engine-relevant flow conditions, matching Mach, Reynolds, and Strouhal number at the inlet of the turbine center frame. Four individual purge mass flows differing in flow rate, pressure, and temperature were injected through the hub and tip, forward and aft cavities of the unshrouded high-pressure turbine rotor. Two turbine center frame designs (differing in area distribution and inlet-to-exit radial offset), equipped with non-turning struts, were tested and compared. For both configurations, aerodynamic measurements at the duct inlet and outlet as well as oil flow visualizations through the turbine center frame were performed.

The acquired measurement data illustrate that the interaction of the ejected purge flow with the main flow enhances the secondary flow structures through the turbine center frame duct. Depending on the purge flow rates, the radial migration of purge air onto the strut surfaces directly impacts the loss behavior of the duct. While the duct loss is demonstrated to be primarily driven by the core flow between two duct struts, the losses associated with the flow close to the struts and in the strut wakes are highly dependent on the relative position between the high-pressure turbine vane and the strut leading edge, as well as the interaction between vane wake and ejected purge flow. Hence, while the turbine center frame duct pressure loss depends on the duct geometric characteristics it is also influenced by the presence and rate of the high-pressure turbine purge flows. This first-time experimental assessment demonstrates that a reduction in the high-pressure turbine purge and cooling air requirement not only benefits the engine system performance by decreasing the secondary flow taken from the high-pressure compressor but also by lowering the turbine center frame total pressure loss.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A013. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63616.

This paper presents an experimental study of the impact of individual high-pressure turbine purge flows on the main flow in a downstream turbine center frame duct. Measurements were carried out in a product-representative one and a half stage turbine test setup, installed in the Transonic Test Turbine Facility at Graz University of Technology. The rig allows testing at engine-relevant flow conditions, matching Mach, Reynolds, and Strouhal number at the inlet of the turbine center frame. The reference case features four purge flows differing in flow rate, pressure, and temperature, injected through the hub and tip, forward and aft cavities of the high-pressure turbine rotor. To investigate the impact of each individual cooling flow on the flow evolution in the turbine center frame, the different purge flows were switched off one-by-one while holding the other three purge flow conditions. In total, this approach led to six different test conditions when including the reference case and the case without any purge flow ejection. Detailed measurements were carried out at the turbine center frame duct inlet and outlet for all six conditions and the post-processed results show that switching off one of the rotor case purge flows leads to an improved duct performance. In contrast, the duct exit flow is dominated by high pressure loss regions if the forward rotor hub purge flow is turned off. Without the aft rotor hub purge flow, a reduction in duct pressure loss is determined. The purge flows from the rotor aft cavities are demonstrated to play a particularly important role for the turbine center frame aerodynamic performance. In summary, this paper provides a first-time assessment of the impact of four different purge flows on the flow field and loss generation mechanisms in a state-of-the-art turbine center frame configuration. The outcomes of this work indicate that a high-pressure turbine purge flow reduction generally benefits turbine center frame performance. However, the forward rotor hub purge flow actually stabilizes the flow in the turbine center frame duct and reducing this purge flow can penalize turbine center frame performance. These particular high-pressure turbine/turbine center frame interactions should be taken into account whenever high-pressure turbine purge flow reductions are pursued.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A014. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63769.

Tip injection is applied in high pressure gas turbine blades to improve the tip surface heat transfer, while it also alters the flow fields in the tip gap and near the tip regions. This paper evaluates the aerodynamic performance of tip injections for a linear turbine cascade. A previously investigated winglet shroud tip without (WS) and with seals (WSS) and a flat tip are considered as datum cases. Five jet holes are distributed on the winglet shroud tips but they are not constructed on the flat tip geometry. Four injection mass flow ratios, Mr,d, of the injection mass flow rate to the mainstream mass flow rate being 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.5% are examined using both experiments and CFD, while three additional Mr,d including 0.7%, 0.9% and 1.0% are further numerically studied. Influences of tip injections on loss changes under various jet mass flow ratios are pinpointed via analyzing the entropy generation rate and energy loss coefficient.

For Mr,d being 0.3%, the jet fluid penetrates into the near-tip region and enhances the upper passage vortex, especially for the WSS case due to the blockage effect of the seals. More severe velocity gradients and larger entropy generation rates are observed in the cascade for the WS and WSS tips with the tip jet (simply named by WSJ and WSSJ respectively). Compared with the flat tip, the WS and WSS tips reduce the energy loss coefficient by 18.98% and 33.86% respectively, while the WSJ and WSSJ bring smaller decrements of 15.89% and 27.08% separately.

Contrast to the energy loss changes, tip injection can help prevent the over-tip leakage (OTL) flow from entering into the tip gap. For Mr,d being 0.3%, the WSJ and WSSJ decrease the OTL mass flow rates at a gap inlet plane by 16.97% and 65.37% respectively relative to the flat tip. When compared to the corresponding non-injection WS and WSS cases, the WSJ and WSSJ achieve further reductions of 11.43% and 29.00% separately. However, in the WSJ and WSSJ cases, the OTL mass flow rate at a tip exit plane is not noticeably lessened as it also includes the increased injection mass flow apart from the leakage main fluid.

With the increase in jet mass flow ratio (Mr,d), the aerodynamic performance of the cascade with WSJ and WSSJ is gradually deteriorated. Particularly, the energy loss coefficient of the injection cases even becomes larger than that of the flat tip when Mr,d exceeds 0.7%. This change trend of the energy loss is also confirmed by an one-dimensional loss model analysis for the mixing process between the injected and the main streams.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A015. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63772.

To investigate the effect of blade geometry profiling by 3D bowing and twisting independently and jointly on entropy, efficiency and performance for the turbine cascades, the paper describes the mechanism of how bowed and twisted blades affect the secondary flow. The efficiency of the turbine stage improves considerably and flow structure has been optimized by applying the bowed and twisted blade.

An optimization of low pressure turbine with bowed stator has been performed using steady and transient RANS simulations. Cases with varying bow angles including both positive bow angle and negative bow angle have been discussed to show how bow angle influence the performance of rotor and stator. An optimal case with positive 18-degree bow angle was obtained. It indicates that the entropy increase rises slightly in the region near mid-span, while it reduces distinctly near the hub and shroud in the stator.

In addition to the varying bow angles, further deliberate modification has been made to present a detailed study on the effect of twisted and bowed blade with different stator exit angles. Due to the varying exit flow angles of stator, the mass flow in the spanwise direction has been changed. Meanwhile, the circumferential mass-averaged efficiency in spanwise direction is different. Therefore, the mass flow changing in the spanwise direction leads to redistribution of low energy fluid in the flow passage. The variation of exit flow angles also affects secondary flow and it can be controlled actively by changing the angles. A considerable increase of efficiency has been achieved in this part of investigation.

Considering the unsteady interaction of rotor and stator influenced by applying bowed and twisted stator, the flow through the LPT with relatively low aspect ratio was numerically simulated. It shows clearly how the secondary flow develops in the passage of the stage with bowed and twisted stator and proves several results achieved previously. At the same time, it shows how wakes of the stator and passage vortex develop in the rotor passage.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A016. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63785.

The integrated combustor vane concept for power generation gas turbines with can combustors has been shown to have significant benefits compared to conventional nozzle guide vanes. Aerodynamic loss, heat transfer levels and cooling requirements are reduced while stage efficiency is improved by approximately 1.5% (for a no-swirl scenario). Engine realistic combustor flow with swirl however leads to increased turning non-uniformity downstream of the integrated vanes. This paper thus illustrates the altered integrated vane stage performance caused by inlet swirl. The study shows a distinct performance penalty for the integrated vane rotor as a result of increased rotor incidence and the rotor’s interaction with the residual swirl core. The stage efficiency advantage of the integrated combustor vane concept compared to the conventional design is thus reduced to 0.7%. It is furthermore illustrated how integrated vane profiling is suitable to reduce the turning variation across the span downstream of the vane, further improve stage efficiency (in this case by 0.23%) and thus mitigate the distinct impact of inlet swirl on integrated vane stage performance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A017. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63790.

The stage axial distance significantly influences the aerodynamic performance of turbines under some constraints. Experimental measurements and numerical simulations are used to analyze the effect of stage axial distances on the aerodynamic performance of three-stage axial turbine in this work. The aerodynamic performance of three-stage axial turbine with three different stage axial distances is experimentally measured at the air turbine test rig of Dongfang Steam Turbine Co. LTD. Experimental results show that efficiency increases when the stage axial distance decreases for the geometry under study with relative stage distance ranged from 0.14 to 0.35, and the effect of stage axial distance on the optimization velocity ratio here is very limited. In addition, unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations were carried out with nonlinear harmonic method to analyze the detailed flow field of the experimental three-stage axial turbine. The numerical aerodynamic efficiency of three-stage axial turbine is in good agreement with the experimental data. Furthermore, the small stage axial distance is preferred for the higher efficiency. The detailed flow field and aerodynamic parameters of three-stage axial turbine are also illustrated and discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A018. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63865.

In the unshrouded axial turbine, the tip clearance gap can cause the losses of turbine efficiency and the penalty of turbine performance. Based on previous investigations, changing the blade tip geometry plays an important role in improving the turbine efficiency and performance. In this paper, the Stereoscopic Particle Imaging Velocimetry (SPIV) measurements were conducted to study the effects of grooved tip geometry on the flow field inside a turbine cascade passage. During the measurements, the double-frame CCD cameras were configured at different sides of the laser light sheet. Additionally, the Diisooctyl Sebacate (DEHS) was treated as the tracer particle. The tip clearance gap of both grooved tip and flat tip was set to 1.18% of the blade chord. The groove height was specified as 2.94% of the blade chord. In this study, the flow field results of eight measured planes were presented. Some typical features of the complicated flow structures, such as tip leakage vortex formation, development, breakdown and the dissipation, the variations of turbulence intensity and Reynolds stress, the blockage characteristic, were discussed as well. The experimental results show that the tip leakage flow/vortex is weakened by the grooved tip. The blockage effect and the flow capacity of the turbine passage are also improved. The tip leakage vortex breaks down at about 70% camber line, but the pattern of leakage vortex has changed into an ellipse at 60% camber line, which is an indication of the vortex breakdown. As for the decomposed and reconstructed flow, the first modal flow is the most similar to the original flow field. And it can capture the dominant flow features in flow field. And the flow of mode 2 and mode 3 generates many eddies with small scale.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A019. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63898.

The nonaxisymmetric endwall profiling has been proven to be an effective tool to reduce the secondary flow loss in turbomachinery. In the present work, an endwall optimization design procedure for reducing secondary flow losses has been developed which allowed complete 3-dimensional parameterization design of the turbine endwall. A so-called shape function and a decay function were used for the definition of the nonaxisymmetric endwall. The shape function was used to control the curvature in the circumferential direction and the decay function was used to control the curvature in the axial direction. The design of the endwall was generated by the product of these two functions. The sinusoidal function was used for the shape function and the B-spline was used for the decay function. This parametrization allowed influencing the contouring of the specific endwall region. The profile of the endwall has been optimized using automatic numerical optimization by means of an improved efficient global optimization algorithm based on kriging surrogate model. The niching micro genetic algorithm was used to get the correlation vector of Kriging model, which eliminated the dependence of correlation vector starting search points. This method reduced the difficulty of finding appropriate penalty parameters and increased the robustness of the optimization method. The 3D-Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes flow solver based on CFX, with a k-ω model for turbulence model, was used for all numerical calculations. An in-house optimization design system was developed to close the loop of the geometry definition, flow solving and the optimization algorithm which allowed the solution of non-linear problems. A large-scale linear cascade with a low-speed wind tunnel has been chosen for the experimental validation of the optimization results. The experimental measurements and numerical simulations both demonstrated that the total pressure loss and secondary flow intensity were reduced with the nonaxisymmetric endwall used in the cascade passage. The detailed flow pattern comparisons between the passage with based flat endwall and the optimization nonaxisymmetric endwall were given by the numerical simulations method and entropy generation rates analysis were used for the investigation of the secondary flow loss reduction mechanism in the nonaxisymmetric endwall profile cascade.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A020. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64153.

This paper introduces a new 2-stage high-pressure turbine rig for aerodynamic investigations. It is operated by DLR Göttingen (Germany) and installed in DLR’s new testing facility NG-Turb. The rig’s geometrical size as well as the non-dimensional parameters are comparable to a modern engine in the small to medium thrust range. The turbine rig closely resembles engine hardware and features all relevant blade and vane cooling as well as secondary air-system flows. The effect of variations of each individual flow and different tip clearances on overall turbine efficiency will be studied. While the first part of the testing program will be based on uniform inlet conditions the second part will be run with a combustor simulator, which is based on electrical heaters and delivers a flow field similar to a rich-burn combustor. In order to find the optimum relative position for maximum turbine efficiency the combustor simulator can be rotated relative to the HPT inlet (clocking). For the same reasons the stators can also be clocked.

The paper gives a brief overview of the testing facility and from there on focuses on the HPT rig features such as aerodynamic design, cooling and sealing flows. The aerodynamic optimisation of the stator vanes and shroudless rotor blades will be outlined. Further topics are the aerodynamic design of the combustor simulator, a comparison with engine combustors as well as the implementation in the rig. The paper also describes the rig instrumentation in the stationary and rotating system which most importantly focuses on measurements of efficiency and capturing of traverse data. The topic of blade and vane manufacturing via direct metal laser sintering will be briefly covered. The discussion of test results and comparison with numerical simulations will be the subject of a follow-up paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A021. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64244.

The paper analyzes losses and the loss generation mechanisms in a low-pressure turbine cascade by Proper-Orthogonal-Decomposition (POD) applied to measurements. Total pressure probes and time resolved particle image velocimetry (TR-PIV) are used to determine the flow field and performance of the blade with steady and unsteady inflow conditions varying the flow incidence. The total pressure loss co-efficient is computed by traversing two Kiel probes upstream and downstream of the cascade simultaneously. This procedure allows a very accurate estimation of the total pressure loss coefficient also in the potential flow region affected by incoming wake migration. The TR-PIV investigation concentrates on the aft portion of the suction side boundary layer downstream of peak suction. In this adverse pressure gradient region the interaction between the wake and the boundary layer is the strongest, and it leads to the largest deviation from a steady loss mechanism. POD applied to this portion of the domain provides a statistical representation of the flow oscillations by splitting the effects induced by the different dynamics. The paper also describes how POD can dissect the loss generation mechanisms by separating the contributions to the Reynolds stress tensor from the different modes. The steady condition loss generation, driven by boundary layer streaks and separation is augmented in presence of incoming wakes by the wake-boundary layer interaction and by the wake dilation mechanism. Wake migration losses have been found to be almost insensitive to incidence variation between nominal and negative (up to −9deg), while at positive incidence the losses have a steep increase due to the alteration of the wake path induced by the different loading distribution.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A022. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64295.

The topic of hub cavity purge is investigated in a high-pressure axial low-reaction turbine stage. Both the sealing ability of the purge flow and the performance impact associated with its injection into the main flow are studied. Three operating speeds are investigated, namely a high loading case, the peak efficiency, and a high speed case, and purge flow rates across a wide range. The operating points coincide with investigations previously reported, where the flow field and stage efficiency was quantified using pneumatic probes. Comparative measurements are also performed, varying a leakage flow through the rotor below the hub platform.

The purge flow is now seeded with CO2 in order to measure its distribution throughout the stage, as it is injected into the wheelspace upstream of the rotor, allowing for quantification of the sealing effectiveness. This is done at a number of defined locations along the stator-side wall in the wheel space, resolving the radial variation through the cavity. Important radial variations of effectiveness are observed, confirming that the flow is in the regime of merged boundary layers, due to the narrow cavity, as compared to typical gas turbine operation with separated boundary layers. The trends are found to be related to operating speed and platform leakage.

With known sealing effectiveness, industry correlations may be adapted to make use of the variation of necessary purge rate to obtain a certain degree of sealing at a given operating point, and thereby optimize the efficiency.

In addition to quantification of potential hot-gas ingestion, the paper initiates an investigation of the transport of the purge flow in the main annulus, through sampling on the hub, as well as area traverse downstream of the rotor. The amount of sealing gas leads to opportunity to quantify the cooling performance of the purge flow in the main annulus. Both the cooling performance in the main annulus and cavity are shown to be significantly influenced by the rotor leakage, while its effect on efficiency is minor.

Topics: Turbines , Cavities
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A023. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64312.

An unlocated shaft failure in the high pressure turbine spool of an engine may result in a complex orbiting motion along with rearward axial displacement of the high pressure turbine rotor sub-assembly. This is due to the action of resultant forces and limitations imposed by constraints such as the bearings and turbine casing. Such motion of the rotor following an unlocated shaft failure, results in the development of multiple contacts between the components of the rotor sub-assembly, the turbine casing, and the downstream stator casing. Typically, in the case of shrouded rotor blades, the tip region is in the form of a seal with radial protrusions called ‘fins’ between the rotor blade and the turbine casing. The contact between the rotor blade and the turbine casing will therefore result in excessive wear of the tip seal fins, resulting in changes in the geometry of the tip seal domain that affects the characteristics of the tip leakage vortex. The rotor sub-assembly with worn seals may also be axially displaced rearwards, and consequent to this displacement, changes in the geometry of the rotor blade may occur because of the contact between the rotor sub-assembly and the downstream stator casing.

An integrated approach of structural analyses, secondary air system dynamics, and 3D CFD is adopted in the present study to quantify the effect of the tip seal damage and axial displacement on the aerodynamic performance of the turbine stage. The resultant geometry after wearing down of the fins in the tip seal, and rearward axial displacement of the rotor sub-assembly is obtained from LS-DYNA simulations. 3D RANS analyses are carried out to quantify the aerodynamic performance of the turbine with worn fins in the tip seal at three different axial displacement locations i.e. 0 mm, 10 mm and 15 mm. The turbine performance parameters are then compared with equivalent cases in which the fins in the tip seal are intact for the same turbine axial displacement locations.

From this study it is noted that the wearing of tip seal fins results in reduced turbine torque, power output and efficiency, consequent to changes in the flow behaviour in the turbine passages. The reduction in turbine torque will result in the reduction of the terminal speed of the rotor during an unlocated shaft failure. Therefore, a design modification that can lead to rapid wearing of the fins in the tip seal after an unlocated shaft failure holds promise for the management of a potential over-speed event.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A024. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64390.

This paper transfers findings from linear cascade studies to the annular system. Experimental studies have been conducted on the newly designed 1.5 stage full annular rotating axial turbine rig at Chair of Thermal Turbomachinery, Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Therefore, an existing large scale low speed test rig was retrofitted with newly designed T106RUB low pressure turbine (LPT) blading, state-of-the-art measurement technologies and multi-dimensional traversing devices to allow for highly resolved measurements of unsteady wake stator flow interaction in both space and time. Incoming wakes are generated by a variable-speed driven rotor disk equipped with cylindrical bars.

The measuring concept for an in-depth analysis of unsteady flow phenomena is presented and results from highly resolved time-averaged and time-resolved flow field traverses are discussed and compared. In detail the time-dependent interaction of periodically passing bar wakes with the boundary layers and secondary flow structures of the T106RUB stator row is investigated. Special emphasis is put on time-varying dilatation and location of individual components of the vortex system and on potential flow separation along the blade suction surface. It is evaluated how these factors can contribute to a time-dependent homogenization of stator exit flow and a consequent loss reduction in the present configuration.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A025. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64409.

Axial turbines for aircraft engines and power plants have reached a very high level of development. Further improvements, in particular in terms of higher efficiency and reduced number of blades and stages, resulting in higher loads, are possible, but can only be achieved through a better understanding of the flow parameters and a closer connection between experiment and numerical design and simulation. An analysis of future demands from the industry and existing turbine research rigs shows that there appears a need for a powerful turbine test rig for aerodynamic experiments.

This paper deals with the development and built up of a new so called Next Generation Turbine Test Facility (NG-Turb) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Göttingen. The NG-Turb is a closed-circuit, continuously running facility for aerodynamic turbine investigations, allowing independent variation of engine relevant Mach and Reynolds numbers. The flow medium (dry air) is driven by a 4-stage radial gear compressor with a high pressure ratio and a wide inlet volume flow range. In a first stage the NG-Turb test section will allow investigations on single shaft turbines up to 2½ stages. In a further expansion stage the NG-Turb will be equipped with a second independent shaft system, then enabling experiments with configurations of high and low (or intermediate) pressure turbines and in particular offering the possibility for investigations at counter rotating turbines. Secondary air for cooling investigations can be provided by auxiliary screw compressors. Mass flow through the Turbine is determined redundantly with an uncertainty of about ±0.3%, using well calibrated Venturi nozzles upstream and downstream of the test section.

The operation concept and main design features of the NG-Turb will be described and an overview of the applied standard measurement and data acquisition technics capturing efficiency, traverse data etc. will be given. Thermodynamic cycle calculations have been performed in order to simulate the flow circuit of the NG-Turb and to access whether turbine operating points can be driven within the performance map of the compressor system. Finally the calibration procedure for the Venturi nozzles, which has been conducted during the commissioning phase of the NG-Turb by applying a special calibration test section, is explained and some results will be shown.

Topics: Testing , Turbines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A026. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64422.

Modern High Pressure Turbine (HPT) blades operate at high speed conditions. The Over-Tip-Leakage (OTL) flow, which plays a major role in the overall loss generation for HPT, can be high-subsonic or even transonic. In practice from the consideration of problem simplification and cost reduction, the OTL flow has been studied extensively in low speed experiments. It has been assumed a redesigned low speed blade profile with a matched blade loading should be sufficient to scale the high speed OTL flow down to the low speed condition.

In this paper, the validity of this conventional scaling approach is computationally examined. The CFD methodology was firstly validated by experimental data conducted in both high and low speed conditions. Detailed analyses on the OTL flows at high and low speed conditions indicate that, only matching the loading distribution with a redesigned blade cannot ensure the match of the aerodynamic performance at the low speed condition with that at the high-speed condition. Specifically, the discrepancy in the peak tip leakage mass flux can be as high as 22.2%, and the total pressure loss at the low speed condition is 10.7% higher than the high speed case.

An improved scaling method is proposed hereof. As an additional dimension variable, the tip clearance can also be “scaled” down from the high speed to low speed case to match the cross-tip pressure gradient between pressure and suction surfaces. The similarity in terms of the overall aerodynamic loss and local leakage flow distribution can be improved by adjusting the tip clearance, either uniformly or locally. The limitations of this proposed method are also addressed in this paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A027. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64478.

An improvement in overall efficiency and power output for gas turbine engines can be obtained by increasing the combustor exit temperature, but the thermal management of metal parts exposed to hot gases is challenging. Discrete film cooling, combined with internal convective cooling is the current state-of-the-art available to aerothermal designers of these components. To simplify the simulation problem in the aerodynamic design phase, it is common practice to replace the cooling holes with source strips applied to the blade. This could lead to inaccuracies in high pressure turbine performance prediction. This study has been carried out on a fully-featured high pressure turbine stage using high-fidelity simulations. The film cooling holes on the nozzle guide vane and on the rotor are initially modelled using a strip model approach. Then, to increase the model fidelity, the strips on the suction side of the rotor are replaced with discrete fan shaped film cooling holes. A rigid body rotation is also applied to the nozzle guide vane to vary the stage capacity and reaction. The effects of the mesh topology & resolution are also taken into account. The results obtained with these two approaches are then compared, giving the designers a better understanding on film cooling modelling and relationship between capacity, reaction and performance. The accurate prediction of the complex interaction between cavity inflows and the main-flow, still represent a challenge for the state of the art RANS solvers. Hence, an unsteady phase-lag approach has been used to overcome the RANS limitations. A validation of the unsteady solutions has been carried out with respect to experimental data.

Topics: Modeling , Turbines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A028. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64504.

In order to fully understand the physical behavior of lean burn combustors and its influence on high pressure turbine stages in modern jet engines, the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) promises to be a valuable addition to experimental techniques. The numerical investigations of this paper are based on the Large Scale Turbine Rig (LSTR) at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany which has been set up to explore the aerothermal combustor turbine interaction. The underlying numerical grids of the simulations take account of the complex cooling design to the fullest extent, considering coolant cavities, cooling holes and vane trailing edge slots within the meshing process. In addition to the k-ω-SST turbulence model, Scale-Adaptive Simulation (SAS) is applied for a computational domain comprising swirl generator and nozzle guide vanes in order to overcome the shortcomings of eddy viscosity turbulence models with regard to streamline curvature. The numerical results are compared with Five Hole Probe measurements at different streamwise locations showing good agreement and allowing for a more detailed examination of the complex flow physics caused by the interaction of turbine flow with lean-burn combustion and advanced film-cooling concepts. Moreover, numerically predicted Nu-contours on the hub end wall of the nozzle guide vane are validated by means of Infrared Thermography measurements.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A029. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64580.

The effect of turning angle on the loss generation of Low Pressure (LP) Turbines has been investigated experimentally in a couple of turbine high-speed rigs. Both rigs consisted of a rotor-stator configuration. All the airfoils are high lift and high aspect ratio blades that are characteristic of state of the art LP Turbines.

Both rigs are identical with exception of the stator. Therefore, two sets of stators have been manufactured and tested. The aerodynamic shape of both stators has been designed in order to achieve the same spanwise distribution of Cp (Pressure coefficient) over the airfoil surface, each one to its corresponding turning angles. Exit angle in both stators is the same. Therefore the change in turning is obtained by a different inlet angle.

The aim of this experiment is to obtain the sensitivity of profile and endwall losses to turning angle by means of a back-to-back comparison between both sets of airfoils. Because the two sets of stators maintain the same pressure coefficient distribution, Reynolds number and Mach number, each one to its corresponding velocity triangles, one can state that the results are only affected by the turning angle.

Experimental results are presented and compared in terms of area average, radial pitchwise average distributions and exit plane contours of total pressure losses. CFD simulations for the two sets of stators are also presented and compared with the experimental results.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A030. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64684.

Improvements in turbine design methods have resulted in the development of blade profiles with both high lift and good Reynolds lapse characteristics. An increase in aerodynamic loading of blades in the low pressure turbine section of aircraft gas turbine engines has the potential to reduce engine weight or increase power extraction. Increased blade loading means larger pressure gradients and increased secondary losses near the endwall. Prior work has emphasized the importance of reducing these losses if highly loaded blades are to be utilized. The present study analyzes the secondary flow field of the front-loaded low-pressure turbine blade designated L2F with and without blade profile contouring at the junction of the blade and endwall. The current work explores the loss production mechanisms inside the low pressure turbine cascade. Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry data and total pressure loss data are used to describe the secondary flow field. The flow is analyzed in terms of total pressure loss, vorticity, Q-Criterion, turbulent kinetic energy and turbulence production. The flow description is then expanded upon using an Implicit Large Eddy Simulation of the flow field. The RANS momentum equations contain terms with pressure derivatives. With some manipulation these equations can be rearranged to form an equation for the change in total pressure along a streamline as a function of velocity only. After simplifying for the flow field in question the equation can be interpreted as the total pressure transport along a streamline. A comparison of the total pressure transport calculated from the velocity components and the total pressure loss is presented and discussed. Peak values of total pressure transport overlap peak values of total pressure loss through and downstream of the passage suggesting that total pressure transport is a useful tool for localizing and predicting loss origins and loss development using velocity data which can be obtained non-intrusively.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A031. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64705.

This paper presents a computational investigation into the impact of cooling air injected through the stationary over-tip turbine casing on overall turbine efficiency. The high work axial flow turbine is representative of the high pressure turbine of a civil aviation turbofan engine. The effect of active modulation of the cooling air is assessed, as well as that of the injection locations. The influence of the through-casing coolant injection on the turbine blade over-tip leakage flow and the associated secondary flow features are examined. Transient (unsteady) sliding mesh simulations of a one turbine stage rotor-stator domain are performed using periodic boundary conditions. Cooling air configurations with a constant total pressure air supply, constant mass flow rate and actively controlled total pressure supply are assessed for a single geometric arrangement of cooling holes. The effects of both the mass flow rate of cooling air and the location of its injection relative to the turbine rotor blade are examined.

The results show that all of the assessed cooling configurations provided a benefit to turbine row efficiency of between 0.2 and 0.4 percentage points. The passive and constant mass flow rate configurations reduced the over-tip leakage flow, but did so in an inefficient manner, with decreasing efficiency observed with increasing injection mass flow rate beyond 0.6% of the mainstream flow, despite the over-tip leakage mass flow rate continuing to reduce.

By contrast, the active total pressure controlled injection provided a more efficient manner of controlling this leakage flow, as it permitted a redistribution of cooling air, allowing it to be applied in the regions close to the suction side of the blade tip which more directly reduced over-tip leakage flow rates and hence improved efficiency. Cooling air injected close to the pressure side of the rotor blade was less effective at controlling the leakage flow, and was associated with increased aerodynamic loss in the passage vortex.

Topics: Coolants , Turbines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A032. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64736.

This paper describes a new engine-parts facility at the University of Oxford for high technology-readiness-level research, new technology demonstration, and for engine component validation.

The Engine Component AeroThermal (ECAT) facility has a modular working section which houses a full annulus of engine components. The facility is currently operated with high-pressure nozzle guide vanes from a large civil jet-engine. A high degree of engine similarity is achieved, with matched conditions of Mach number, Reynolds number, and coolant-to-mainstream pressure ratio. For combustor-turbine interaction studies, a combustor simulator module is used, which is capable of both rich-burn and lean-burn combined temperature, swirl and turbulence profiles.

The facility is being used for aerothermal optimisation research (e.g., novel cooling systems, aerodynamic optimisation problems, capacity sensitivity studies), computational fluid dynamics validation (aerodynamic predictions, conjugate predictions), and for component validation to accelerate the engine design process.

The three key measurement capabilities are: capacity characteristic evaluation to a precision of 0.02%; overall cooling (metal) effectiveness measurements (using a rainbow set of parts if required); and aerodynamic loss evaluation (with realistic cooling, trailing-edge flow etc.). Each of these three capabilities have been separately developed and optimised in other facilities at the University of Oxford in the last 10 years, to refine aspects of facility design, instrumentation design, experimental technique, and theoretical aspects of scaling and reduction of experimental data. The ECAT facility brings together these three research strands with a modular test vehicle for rapid high technology-readiness-level research, demonstration of new technologies, and for engine component validation.

The purpose of this paper is to collect in one place — and put in context — the work that led to the development of the ECAT facility, to describe the facility, and to illustrate the accuracy and utility of the techniques by presenting typical data for each of the key measurements.

The ECAT facility is a response to the changing requirements of experimental turbomachinery testing, and it is hoped this paper will be of interest to engine designers, researchers, and those involved in major facility developments in both research institutes and engine companies.

Topics: Engines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A033. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64778.

The operation under off-design conditions of a two-stage LP part of a 6.5 MW industrial gas turbine was analyzed in this work. Since the turbine is able to vary the rotation speed in a wide range from 40 to 140% of the design speed, a flow with extremely large positive and negative incidence angle appears.

The flow field was calculated applying 2D through-flow code for the analysis of axial multistage turbines with cooling by air from compressor bleed. The code was developed by the authors and validated by calculation of a number of test cases with different configurations. The method is based on a stream function approach and a finite element solution procedure. In parallel, the flow in the turbine was calculated using a commercial CFD code. Based on the calculated flow field, the turbine efficiency and pressure ratio and also different stage parameters were determined for the design point and for a wide range of off-design conditions. Comparison of the predicted results and measured test data for a number of parameters showed good agreement.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A034. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64867.

The present work is focused on the investigation of an alternate current driven single dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuator (AC-SDBDPA) for the control of separated flow at Reynolds numbers up to 2·104. Laminar boundary layer separation typically occurs on the suction surface of the low pressure turbines (LPT) blades when operating at high altitude cruise conditions, as the Reynolds number can drop below 2.5·104. In this context, the implementation of an active boundary layer control system able to operate in suppressing separation — only at the critical Reynolds numbers — is of great interest. The SDBDPA was manufactured by means of the photolithographic technique, which ensured a thin metal deposition with high manufacturing reliability control. Actuator operation under sinusoidal voltage at 8 kV amplitude and 2 kHz frequency was considered. Investigations were performed in a closed loop wind tunnel. A curved plate with a shape designed to reproduce the suction surface of a LPT was mounted directly over the bottom wall of the test section. The SDBDPA was inserted in a groove made at the middle of the curved plate, located at the front side of the adverse pressure gradient region. The flow pattern and velocities in absence of actuation were experimentally measured by a two-dimensional (2-D) particle image velocimetry (PIV) system and a laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) system. PIV measurements were performed in presence of actuation. Simultaneously to the velocity measurements, the voltage applied to the AC-SDBDPA and the discharge current flowing through the circuit were acquired in order to determine the power dissipated by the device. The experimental data were supported by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations based on the finite volume method. In order to deeply investigate the effect of flow separation control by the AC-SDBDPA on the LPT blade performances, the viscous and unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations were solved to predict the characteristics of the flow with and without actuation. The actuation effect was modelled as a time-constant body force calculated prior to the fluid flow simulations by using the dual potential algebraic model. The experimental data were used to calibrate and successfully validate the numerical model. An unsteady RANS (URANS) approach, using the k-ω Lam and Bremhorst Low-Reynolds turbulence model was employed, accounting with the main transient flow structures. Results showed that the mixing action of the streamwise fluid with higher momentum and the boundary layer fluid with the lower momentum -due to the AC-SDBDPA-led, depending on the tested Reynolds number, to the alleviation or suppression of the boundary layer flow separation which occurred on the suction surface of the LPT blade. The validated numerical model will allow expanding the study of the actuation effect including different locations and multiple devices, saving considerably experimental efforts.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2017;():V02AT40A035. doi:10.1115/GT2017-64942.

In this paper, the effect of a novel honeycomb tip on suppressing tip leakage flow in a highly-loaded turbine cascade has been experimentally and numerically studied. The research focuses on the mechanisms of honeycomb tip on suppressing tip leakage flow and affecting the secondary flow in the cascade, as well as the influences of different clearance heights on leakage flow characteristics. In addition, two kinds of local honeycomb tip structures are pro-posed to explore the positive effect on suppressing leakage flow in simpler tip honeycomb structures.

Based on the experimental and numerical results, the physical processes of tip leakage flow and its interaction with main flow are analyzed, the following conclusions can be obtained. Honeycomb tip rolls up a number of small vortices and radial jets in regular hexagonal honeycomb cavities, increasing the flow resistance in the clearance and reducing the velocity of leakage flow. As a result, the structure of honeycomb tip not only suppresses the leakage flow effectively, but also has positive effect on reducing the associated losses in cascade by reducing the strength of leakage vortex. Compare to the flat tip cascade at 1%H gap height, the relative leakage flow in honeycomb tip cascade reduces from 3.05% to 2.73%, and the loss at exit section is also decreased by 10.63%. With the increase of the gap height, the tip leakage flow and loss have variations of direct proportion with it, but their growth rates in the honeycomb tip cascade are smaller. Consider the abradable property of the honeycomb seal, a smaller gap height is allowed in the cascade with honeycomb tip, and that means honeycomb tip has better effect on suppressing leakage flow. Two various local honeycomb tip structures has also been discussed. It shows that local raised honeycomb tip has better suppressing leakage flow effect than honeycomb tip, while local concave honeycomb tip has no more effect than honeycomb tip. Compare to flat tip cascade, the leakage flow in honeycomb tip cascade, local concave tip cascade and local raised honeycomb tip cascade decrease by nearly 17.33%, 15.51% and 30.86% respectively, the losses at exit section is reduced by 13.38%, 12% and 28.17% respectively.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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