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CFD Simulations of Flow and Heat Transfer in a Pre-Swirl System: Influence of Rotating-Stationary Domain Interface

[+] Author Affiliations
Joachim Karnahl, Jens von Wolfersdorf

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Kok-Mun Tham

Siemens Energy, Inc., Orlando, FL

Mike Wilson, Gary Lock

University of Bath, Bath, UK

Paper No. GT2011-45085, pp. 665-677; 13 pages
  • ASME 2011 Turbo Expo: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 6–10, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5465-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by Siemens Energy, Inc.


This paper presents computational fluid dynamic (CFD) predictions of flow and heat transfer for an over-swirled low-radius pre-swirl system and comparison with experimental data. The rotor-stator CFD model comprises a stationary domain with the pre-swirl nozzles and a rotating domain with the receiver holes. The fluid-dynamic conditions feature an over-swirled system with a swirl ratio at the nozzle radius βp = 1.4–1.5 and rotational Reynolds number Reφ = 0.8×106 and 1.2×106 . Three different treatments for the rotating and stationary domain interface are used to evaluate the influence on the flow and heat transfer behavior: a stationary approach (including Coriolis forces in the rotating domain) with “direct connection” and fixed angle between pre-swirl nozzle and receiver holes; a stationary approach with circumferential averaging of the velocity at radial bands; and a full transient simulation with the rotating domain capturing the unsteady flow due to the rotating receiver holes. Results at different circumferential angles show high variability in pressure and velocity distributions at the pre-swirl inlet nozzle radius. Circumferential averaging of these flow parameters lead to an alignment of the pressures and velocities between the three different interface approaches. Comparison with experimental pressure and swirl-ratio data show a quantitative agreement but the CFD results feature a systematic overestimation outward of the pre-swirl nozzle radius. Heat transfer contours at the rotor surface show the effect of the different interface approaches and dependence on the flow structure (for example the impinging jet and vortex structures). The three different interface approaches result in significant differences in the computed heat transfer coefficients between pairs of receiver holes. Circumferentially averaged heat transfer coefficients inward of the receiver holes radius show good agreement between the transient and stationary direct connection interfaces, whereas those for the circumferential averaging interface differ, contrary to the flow parameters, due to smoothing of local effects from the pre-swirl jets.

Copyright © 2011 by Siemens Energy, Inc.



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