The simulation models used in the design process of modern turbo-machines are becoming increasingly complex. Nevertheless, the steady-state RANS approach is still the mostly used method for CFD computations. However, detailed flow information is more and more required for further improving the performance and extend the operating range. Turbulence modeling has becoming therefore a key issue in this context. The increased computer power already available would enable the use of more sophisticated turbulence models than standard two equation ones, such as SST k-omega and k-epsilon. These, despite their shortcomings, are still predominant in the field, since more advanced models often lead to numerical instabilities in the simulations. The most important shortcomings can be related to either boundary layer effects or mixing process in the channels. In order to improve the predictions considering boundary layer effects, like impingement or large pressure gradients in flow direction, various derivations of four equations models were investigated. Using an additional transport equation for the wall normal Reynolds-stress component and an elliptic equation for near-wall effects, they improve the results for this kind of flows. Considering the accurate prediction of mixing processes, like (1) the interaction of tip-clearance vortices with the main flow or (2) off-design conditions, the focus was oriented to the anisotropy present in the turbulent structures. Standard models are often not sufficient to predict accurately vortices, which can have a huge impact on the performance, since based on the assumption of isotropic turbulence. Accordingly, they tend to dissipate and diffuse the vortices too quickly. Improved models, which take the anisotropic nature of the Reynolds-stresses into account, can help in this context. The models can thereby introduce the additional anisotropy via an explicit algebraic expression, or model directly the transport equations for the Reynolds-stresses. In order to improve the predictions using advanced turbulence models a particularly robust framework based on a pressure-based fully coupled approach was used.
The goal of this work is the development and testing of improved models for the application in turbo-machinery. The focus lies thereby on near-wall behavior and mixing / vortex dissipation. The assessment of the models is exemplarily used on the centrifugal compressor open-case Radiver with vaned diffuser.