Secondary flows and leakage flows create complex vortex structures in the 3-D flow field of a turbine stage. Aerodynamic losses are the consequence. Reducing the aerodynamic losses by endwall contouring is subject of an actual investigation of the flow field in a 4-stage test turbine with repeating stages.
Numerical 4-stage simulations are performed for a reference case of a turbine without endwall modifications and two different geometric configurations with endwall contouring. The numerical results for the reference case are compared to corresponding experimental investigations. Both, the experiment and the CFD focus on the stage exit flow field of the second, the third and the fourth stage of the actual four stage turbine. The 3-D flow field is calculated by application of a steady 3-D Navier-Stokes code.
The numerical results of an arc-like endwall contouring at the casing are presented a) with a maximum deviation from the reference contour in the axial gap within the stages (“arc contour”) and b) with a maximum deviation in the axial gap between the stages (“off-set arc contour”). The results show a significant influence of the bumps on the blade’s profile pressure distribution near the radial gap, the leakage flow and the radial pressure field. A detailed secondary flow analysis shows the influence of the different endwall contours on the leakage vortex development.
Finally, the aerodynamic efficiencies of the geometric configurations are compared. It is predicted that the off-set arc contour has a remarkable positive influence on the machine’s performance.